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Approach to the Golden Pagoda, Prome (Burma). March 1853

Approach to the Golden Pagoda, Prome (Burma). March 1853

Artist: Yule, Sir Henry (1820-1889)

Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink

Date: 1853

Shelfmark: WD1408

Item number: 1408

Length: 25

Width: 35

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour with pen and ink of the approach to the Golden Pagoda at Prome in Myanmar (Burma) by Sir Henry Yule (1820-1889) and dated March 1853. Inscribed on the front in watercolour: 'North Approach of the Golden Pagoda at Prome. March, 1853.'

The Shwesandaw Pagoda is situated on a hill in the centre of Prome, overlooking the town and the river. Reputed to enshrine hair relics of the Buddha, the shrine is one of Burma's most important pilgrimage sites. The gilded, bell-shaped stupa rises from a base of square terraces with a spire culminating in an ornate hti or umbrella. The two massive carved chinthes or leogryphs are mythical animals composed of part-lion and part-griffin, and are the guardian figures of Burmese temples.

Sir Henry Yule served with the Bengal Engineers in India in the 1840s. On 24th January 1853 travelled from Calcutta to Burma by steamer to carry out an exploration and survey of Arakan in the Burmese Hills. He covered 240 miles on foot, accompanied by local guides, arriving at Prome on 25th March emaciated due to illness and lack of food. Yule was also the Secretary on the British embassy to the Burmese King, Mindon Min (r.1853-1878) in 1855. He is perhaps best known for his work on the 'Hobson-Jobson' a glossary of Anglo-Indian colloquial words and phrases published in London in 1886.

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