"THE ROCK AND FORT HAD BECOME A POPULAR SYMBOL OF BRITISH MILITARY PROWESS IN INDIA": BEAUTIFUL VIEW IN THE FORT AT TRICHINOPOLY FROM THE DANIELLS’ ORIENTAL SCENERY
DANIELL, Thomas and William. View in the Fort of Tritchinopoly. [London]: Published as the Act directs by Thos. Daniell, December, 1798. Color-printed aquatint with hand-finishing on wove paper; plate size 25-1/2 by 19 inches. Matted and framed, entire item measures 34 by 28 inches. $4200.
A lovely view from within the fortress at Trichinopoly, from Thomas and William Daniell's celebrated book Oriental Scenery, a color-printed aquatint finished by hand.
The Daniells' Oriental Scenery is considered one of the finest illustrated works on India. Thomas Daniell and his nephew William spent nine years in India making studies, sketches and drawings of the scenery, architecture, and antiquities that graced the countryside. They then devoted a further 13 years to publishing their remarkably accurate aquatints. In Britain, the impact was explosive. A cult of Indian architecture, landscaping and interior decoration arose, with the Royal Pavilion at Brighton as its centerpiece. The Daniells gave the English public their first accurate look at the exotic sub-continent. Their great achievement still lies in their ability to blend the picturesque with the real, resulting in images that capture the European taste for the sublime landscape, while still remaining faithful to their subjects. The Daniells brought the romance of the English landscape to the antiquities of India and provided England with an accurate vision of this wondrous country.
"Thomas Daniell devoted four aquatints to Trichinopoly, since the rock and fort had become a popular symbol of British military prowess in India. Muhammad Ali, whose claim as Nawab of the Carnatic the British favored, was besieged there by the French… The young Captain Robert Clive carried out a daring diversion… and then in 1752 raised the siege of Trichinopoly in collaboration with Major Stringer Lawrence… At the top of the rock is small mandapam or pavilion up to which the Daniells climbed and obtained a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside" (Archer, Early Views of India, 111). Of this plate, Thomas Daniell wrote, "The numerous flights of steps, and different buildings to be passed through, both open and enclosed, in ascending the rock, give an awful and grand effect to its approach. The buildings higher up are the Choultries attached to the temple, where devout persons resort after performing their religious duties." Consisting of 144 views, published in six parts, the work was issued in seven stages: three sets of 24 plates titled Oriental Scenery with title dates of 1795, 1797, and 1801 (this plate was published in the second part); 12 plates titled Antiquities of India dated 1799; 24 plates titled Hindoo Excavations dated 1803; 24 plates titled Views in Hindoostan dated 1807; and 12 further plates of Antiquities of India published without a title page in 1808. All plates were engraved by the Daniells and all are taken from their drawings save the 24 plates of Hindoo Excavations, which are after drawings by James Wales. See Abbey, Travel 420 (plate no. 47).
Near-fine condition, a lovely Daniell plate beautifully framed.