Ruins of the citadel in Pondicherry after the attack by the British


John McClean, an officer in the Madras engineers, has pictured himself drawing the ruined fort of Pondicherry before him. Rubble from the fort, including bits of column, coffered ceiling and Corinthian capitals, lay strewn across the foreground. Military and topographical artists often included themselves in their drawings as a short hand indication of reliability.

Pondicherry, a port city in India’s southern peninsula, was the site of a violent Siege (4 September 1760–15 January 1761) fought between the British and French as part of the Carnatic Wars (1744-63). The city had been under French rule, and was a hub of the French East India Company, until the British finally colonised it. This view was produced over eighteen months after the Siege, with the city still in tatters. The fragments of the old fort so prominently displayed emphasises the fall of one imperial regime to make way for another.

Full title:
Ruins of the citadel in Pondicherry after the attack by the British
8 September, 1762
Pen and Ink / Wash / View
John McClean
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