Dagon Pagoda, near Rangoon plate 3
Engraver: Daniell, William (1769-1837)
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
This aquatint was taken from plate 3 of 'Views in the Burman Empire' by Captain James Kershaw. During the first Anglo-Burmese war (1824-26), Kershaw and Lieutenant Joseph Moore made fine sketches of the country. Their views constitute the first series of naturalistic landscapes of Burma and the first large-scale coloured views of Burma.
Intent on consolidating the eastern borders of their Indian holdings and gaining influence in the region, the British declared war against Burma. The difficult campaign took two years and although disastrous for the Burmese in the end, resulted in heavy losses for the British through disease. This picturesque view is particularly poignant. Kershaw wrote: "This spot is ... particularly interesting to those who shared in the trials and privations of that period, as in its immediate vicinity the greater numbers of our gallant comrades rest, who were cut off by disease in the prime of life; the buildings immediately in front being appropriated as Hospitals."