Indian Scenery

Robert HOMESelect 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 letterpress by T. Bensley, 1794.

Large 4to, contemporary red paper boards (lightly rubbed), black morocco lettering piece on spine. VIIpp. (including title), 48pp. of English text, 12 leaves of Perso-Arabic text. 4 folding maps and plans (one partly hand-coloured), 29 copper-engraved plates by Fittler, Byrne and others after Robert Home. Complete.

First Edition.

An early view book of India.

The work recalls the power struggles which led to the British dominance of India in the 19th century. The British artist Robert Home (1752-1834) was instructed by Angelica Kauffmann when he attended the Royal Academy schools in 1769, and she encouraged his further studies in Rome in 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. During this period Home painted some of his best-known paintings such as The Hostage Princes leaving home with the Vakil, Ghulam Aliand Lord Cornwallis Receiving Tipu Sahib’s Sons. In November 1792, Home came into contact with artists Thomas Daniell and William Daniell who inspired him to continue painting landscapes. Robert 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. He died in India.

A large and clean copy in its first condition.

Ref. Brunet, III, 268 / Lowndes, II, p. 1095 / Pheroza Godrej & Pauline Rohatgi, Scenic Spendours. India through the printed page, (1989), pp. 112-114

Price: 2.500,00 euros

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