A View of the Great Pagoda at Tanjore(019XZZ000000307U00023000)
Artist: Hodges, William (1744-1797)
Medium: Aquatint with etching, coloured
This is plate 23 from William Hodges' book 'Select Views in India', showing the Rajarajeshvara Temple at Thanjavur. Hodges composed this picture without ever visiting Thanjavur. His source was a sketch made by a surveyor named Mr Topping.
The Rajarajeshvara Temple is also known as the Brihadishvara Temple and is one of the greatest temples in southern India. It was built under the patronage of Rajaraja I of the Chola dynasty in AD1010. The vimana, or principal sanctuary, is surmounted by a tall pyramidal stone tower and stands in a large rectangular courtyard, entered on the east through two gateways or gopuras. This picture was used by Hodges in contrast to his view the Pagodas at Deogarh, which he saw as illustrating the early and the later stages of Indian architecture.