Drawing of a temple column. ‘Elevation of the Pillars in the Pagoda of [ ] near Honnelly July 1800
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen and ink drawing, dated July 1800, of the elevation of a column in a temple near Honali in Karnataka, taken from an Album of 56 sheets of drawings (60 folios) mainly of miscellaneous architecture and sculpture in the Deccan and S. India, dated 1793-1806.
This drawing depicts a multi-angled pillar, a type which is often referred to as "lathe-turned" typical of Chalukya-Hoysala architecture. It has been suggested that this kind of pillars were produced with the help of a lathe. They are generally made of clorithic schist, a very soft kind of stone.
Colin Mackenzie (1754-1821) was the first Surveyor General of India. Originally from Scotland, he came to India in 1782 as a member of the Madras Engineers. He took part in numerous map surveys, mainly in Southern India, before he was appointed to the post of Surveyor General in 1815. During his surveys in South India he collected and recorded innumerable details concerning every aspect of South Indian history, language, life and religion, resulting in possibly as many as 2,000 drawings and over 8,000 copies of inscriptions.