This watercolour is part of the personal sketchbook of John Johnson, an officer in the Bombay Engineers. The redcoat in the foreground is believed to be Johnson himself, drawing the waterfall near Haliyal in south-west India (the inscription below the view reads: 'Waterfall in Soonda of the Purwar River, about 4 miles S. W. of Hullyhall taken in the dryest season. Coln Johnson was at Hully Hull 1801. This picture is said to represent himself.') Other leaves from the sketchbook show picturesque and military scenes taken when Johnson worked as a surveyor during and between the Anglo-Mysore Wars (around 1795–1801). These were intermittent conflicts fought between the British East India Company and the rulers of Mysore province over territorial sovereignty.