The Observatory at Delhi plate 19
Artist and engraver: Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840)
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
Plate 19 from the fifth set of Thomas and William Daniell's 'Oriental Scenery' called 'Antiquities of India.' The Observatory of Delhi, the Jantar-Mantar, was built around 1724 and was one of a series of observatories built by Maharaja Savai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. Other observatories are found at Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura. The artist was fascinated by the '...singularity as well as the magnitude of such astronomical instruments'. The main instrument depicted, the Samrat-Yantra, is 'an equinoctial dial, consisting of a triangular gnomon with the hypotenuse parallel to the earth's axis, and on either side of the gnomon is a quadrant of a circle parallel to the plane of the equator.' In the distance is the Jai-Prakash, two concave hemispherical structures used to ascertain the position of the sun and other heavenly bodies.