Two drawings of sculpture at Mamallapuram
Artist: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840), and Daniell, William (1769-1837
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawings of one of the sculptured rocks at Mamallapuram by Thomas Daniell, dated 1793. Inscribed on front in ink: 'Near the Hindoo Temple on the sea beach Mauveliporam.'
Thomas Daniell (1749-1840) and his nephew William (1769-1837) travelled throughout India from 1786 to 1794 drawing and painting the landscape views and monuments they witnessed along the way. The Daniells are renowned for a collection of aquatints of views of India in six parts called 'Oriental Scenery' that was published between 1795 and 1810. Mamallapuram, a tiny village south of Chennai (Madras), was a flourishing port of the Pallava dynasty from the 5th - 8th centuries. The site is famous for a group of temples, a series of rock-cut caves and monolithic sculptures that were most likely created in the 7th century reign of Narasimhavarman Mahamalla. The caves are all fronted with fine columns resting on seated lions, typical of the Pallava style. This drawing depicts the entrance of the Tiger Cave, dated to the early 8th century and located 4 km north of the site of Mamallapuram, near the village of Saluvankuppam. The cave consists of a boulder carved as a small portico surrounded by yali heads, mythical tiger-like animals.