The Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram
Artist: Gantz, John (1772-1853)
Watercolour of the Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, by John Gantz, c. 1825. Inscribed: 'N W View of two ancient Temples by the Seaside. Mahabilipoorum. J. Gantz'.
John Gantz and his son Justinian ran a lithographic press, but are remembered best for their watercolours of flat-top houses and public buildings in and around Chennai (Madras), dating to the first half of the 19th century. Though not British-born, they both lived and died in India, in the service of the East India Company. Mamallapuram, a tiny village south of Chennai, 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 some monolithic sculptures created in the 7th century. This view shows the Shore Temple, built in the late 7th century by Rajasimha and is orientated east, towards the ocean. The temple consists of two spires; one contains a shrine for Vishnu and one for Shiva.