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Select Views in Mysore, the country of Tippoo Sultan; from drawings taken on the spot by Mr.Home; with historical descriptions
London: published by Mr. Bowyer ... the letter-press by T. Bensley, 1794. Royal quarto. (13 3/8 x 10 3/4 inches). Text in English and Perso-Arabic script. 29 copper-engraved plates by Fittler, Byrne and others after Robert Home, 4 folding maps and plans (one hand-coloured). Contemporary red straight-grained morocco gilt, expertly rebacked to style, the flat spine divided into six compartments by single gilt fillets, lettered in the second, marbled endpapers, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges. A very fine copy of the first edition of this early view book of India, recalling the power struggles which led to the British dominance of India in the 19th century. Home was instructed by Angelica Kauffmann when he attended the Royal Academy schools in 1769, and she encouraged his further studies in Rome between 1773-9. He subsequently worked as a portrait painter in Dublin, before returning to London in 1789. Home's career took on a spectacular new direction with his departure for India in 1790. Arriving in January 1791, he established a highly successful portrait practice and worked mainly in Madras, Calcutta and Lucknow.He was also a very active watercolourist: a collection of his studies of wild life are now in the Victoria Memorial Hall in Calcutta, but it is his landscape work which is the basis for the present work. Home had arrived in India during what has become known as the Third Anglo-Mysore War (1789- 92) and it is not unlikely that he left England with a commission from Bowyer to record the scenes of the action. The war took place in South India between the Kingdom of Mysore and the English East India Company. Tipu Sultan, the ruler of Mysore and an ally of France, invaded the nearby state of Travancore in 1789, which was a British ally. The resultant war lasted three years and ended in a resounding defeat for Mysore. France, embroiled in the French Revolution and thwarted by British Naval power, was unable to provide as much assistance as Tipu had expected. The war resulted in a sharp curtailment of Mysore's borders to the advantage of the Marathas, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Madras Presidency. The districts of Malabar, Salem, Bellary, and Anantapur were ceded to Madras Presidency. The war ended after the 1792 siege of Seringapatam and the signing of the Treaty of Seringapatnam according to which Tipu had to surrender half of his kingdom to the British company and send his two sons to them as the hostages of war. The present work is dedicated to the victorious commander in chief of the British forces in India, Marquess Cornwallis (1738-1805), who is now best known for surrendering to Washington at Yorktown. Home was subsequently employed as official Lucknow court painter to both King Ghazi and his successor, the Crown Prince Nazir-Ud-Din. In the tradition of court artists, he was again encouraged to employ the full range of his artistic abilities, not only for painting pictures, but also for designing crowns and regalia, furniture for the palaces, richly ornamental howdahs, carriages and pleasure boats. Many of the drawings for these are now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Home died in India in 1836. Brunet III, 268; Cox I, 304; P. Godrej & P. Rohatgi Scenic Splendours India through the printed image pp.112-114; Indian Life and Landscape pp.116-125; Lowndes II, p.1095.
      [Bookseller: Donald Heald Rare Books ]
Last Found On: 2013-01-08           Check availability:      ABAA    

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