Artist: Allan, Sir Alexander (1764-1820)
This uncoloured aquatint is taken from plate 5 of Captain Alexander Allan's 'Views in the Mysore Country'. The fort of Nilagiridurg, three miles from Anchettidurg in Tamil Nadu, surrendered to a British battalion in July 1792. Allan wrote: "This place, though respectable in itself in point of strength, yet not forming a part of the chain of posts then intended to be established, was dismantled during the stay of the army in that vicinity."
Alexander Allan, then a Lieutenant in the Madras Native Infantry, was not unusual in serving as a surveyor and skilled amateur artist during the third Anglo-Mysore war. Many soldiers were accomplished draughtsmen in the 18th century, recording and detailing the sites of conflict. Allan was fluent in Persian and served in the fourth and final war, even being appointed to carry the flag of truce to Mysore-leader Tipu's palace if he surrendered. In the event he was with David Baird when Tipu's body was found. He later became a director of the East India Company.