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

Description

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
Created:
8 September, 1762
Format:
Pen and Ink / Wash / View
Creator:
John McClean
Held by:
British Library
Copyright:
© British Library
Shelfmark:
WD 1293

Full catalogue details

Related articles

A global gaze: British artists, landscape spaces, and the wider world in the late 18th century

Article by:
John McAleer
Theme:
Military and maritime

Dr John McAleer explores how both British, and non-European, professional and amateur artists engaged with the British Empire via the medium of landscape art.

Soldier artists in India

Article by:
Patricia Kattenhorn, Margaret Makepeace
Theme:
Military and maritime

Whether drawing for official purposes or for pleasure, soldier-artists contributed a rich source to the visual imagery of colonial India in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Related collection items