William Daniell RA (British, 1769-1837) The Jumma Masjid at Seringapatam in Coimbatore, South India, built by Tipu Sultan in 1787

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Lot 213
William Daniell RA (British, 1769-1837)
The Jumma Masjid at Seringapatam in Coimbatore, South India, built by Tipu Sultan in 1787

Sold for £ 90,000 (US$ 119,795) inc. premium
William Daniell RA (British, 1769-1837)
The Jumma Masjid at Seringapatam in Coimbatore, South India, built by Tipu Sultan in 1787
oil on canvas, framed
59.5 x 89.5 cm.


  • Painted circa 1833-34.

    Royal Academy, 1834, no.369, Mosque in the Province of Coimbatore, Southern India.
    The Rediscovery of Nature: an anthology of 19th Century Landscape Painting in the West, The Museum of Modern Art, Hyogo, Japan, Quinsac, Annie-Paule and Yamawaki, K., November 3-27, 1983, no.31.

    The Oriental Annual or Scenes in India 1835; comprising twenty-two engravings from original drawings by William Daniell R.A. and a descriptive account by the Rev. Hobart Caunter, B.D., illustrated p. 234, 'Mosque in the Coimbatore'; Drawn by William Daniell, R. A.; Engraved by J. C. Armytage; London, Published Oct. 1, 1834 by Bull & Co., 26 Holles Street, Cavendish Square.

    The Jumma Masjid was built by Tipu Sultan in 1787. The present view is taken from the bastion south of the inner Bangalore Gate of Seringapatam. The main hall of the mosque has numerous foil arches and a small room or mihrab at the west facing Mecca. Here a stone inscription reads: 'Each arch is like the moon - unequalled in beauty. The pleasing wind which blows from it is spirit-like, enhancing and refreshing.' The two great minarets or minars combine majesty with grace. The shafts are decorated with numerous pigeon holes and floral bands, while above are two narrow terraces with finely adorned parapets. A flight of steps leads to the top of each minaret which are crowned with large highly ornamented domes or kalasas.

    It was at the mosque, on 23rd February 1792, at the close of the Third Mysore War, that Tipu assembled his principal officers to discuss Lord Cornwallis's terms for peace. Colonel Mark Wilks, in The History of Mysoor (1810) gave the following account: 'Tippoo assembled in the great mosque all the principal officers of his army, laid before them the Koran, and adjured them, by its sacred contents, to give him their undisguised advice on the question he was about to propose. He then read to them the ultimatum of the confederates [...]: the cession to the allies from the countries adjacent to theirs of one-half of the dominions which he possessed before the war; the payment of three crores and thirty lacs of rupees; the release of all prisoners from the time of Hyder Ali; and the delivery of two of his sons as hostages for the due performance of the conditions. "You have heard", said the Sultaun, "the conditions of peace, and you have now to hear and answer my question: shall it be peace or war?" The officers unanimously replied that they were ready to lay down their own lives in the defence of their sovereign and his capital; but [...] they were in substance equally unanimous that the troops were disheartened and had become undeserving of confidence..' So in this secure place of worship the preliminary articles of peace were accepted and signed.

    William Daniell RA (1769–1837)

    Thomas Daniell and William Daniell, uncle and nephew, were two of the foremost English landscape artists and travellers of the 19th Century. William acquired his expertise in art, and specifically in aquatint engraving, whilst apprenticed to his uncle, Thomas (1749-1840), the prime recorder of Indian scenes of his time and pioneer in the development of the aquatint process in Britain.
    Orphaned at an early age, William was adopted by his uncle and when he was sixteen accompanied him to India, where from 1785 to 1794 he worked as his assistant. He kept an extensive diary of their travels in India (1786-93) that reveals his own sketching strategies and his assistance in the finishing of his uncle's sketches and oil paintings. Although departing on the tour as master and apprentice, by their return the Daniells were ostensibly partners, William having spent the years abroad receiving tuition and honing his artistic skills.
    On their return to London in 1794 the Daniells spent the next fifteen years working on the aquatints of Oriental Scenery (1795-1808), which is widely regarded as one of the quintessential artistic depictions of India in the 18th Century. Oriental Scenery was, in fact, a project involving six series of aquatints (of 24 prints each). This project was followed by another collaboration with his uncle, Voyage to India by Way of China (1810). He did not return to Indian scenes until after 1821.
    From 1795 to 1838 William Daniell exhibited 168 pictures at the Royal Academy and sixty-four at the British Institution (1807-36), including views of India, Scotland, and England. He joined the Royal Academy Schools in 1799, becoming an associate in 1807 and Royal Academician in 1822. In 1826 he won a prize at the British Institution for The Battle of Trafalgar.
    Whilst William concentrated on aquatint views of Great Britain (notably in A Voyage Round Great Britain), Thomas, in contrast, abandoned engraving, choosing to focus on oils of India, producing an unbroken succession of Indian scenes and landscapes. In fact, in twenty years, William exhibited only twenty scenes of India at the Royal Academy. The contrast not only applied to subject matter and medium during this period, but was also apparent in their respective styles, with Thomas' work remaining true to his education in classical landscape, with figures playing a minor role, and William's work susceptible to new influences with his figures becoming increasingly romantic. He was a populariser, whereas Thomas had a deep influence in cultured circles and was regarded as an unrivalled authority on Indian architecture, collaborating with a number of leading architects on building and garden design.
    William Daniell was a prolific printmaker, producing a series of high-quality productions that included A Brief History of Ancient and Modern India (1802-5); Interesting Selections from Animated Nature (1807-12); A Familiar Treatise on Perspective (1810); View of London (1812); Illustrations of the Island of Staffa (1818); Sketches of South Africa (1820); Views of Windsor, Eton and Virginia Water (1827-30), and the Oriental Annual (1835). He also collaborated in works with his brother Samuel Daniell (1775 -1811), a topographical artist, and his brother-in-law William Westall.
    Early patrons of the Daniells in England included Thomas Hope (1769 -1831), for whom a number of private commissions were done; Warren Hastings (1732-1818); and their most important patron, Charles Hampden Turner (1771–1856) of Godstone, Surrey, for whom they did a very large number of oils.
    On 11 July 1801 William married Mary Westall, (c1770-1846?), the eldest sister of the artist Richard Westall (1765-1836), at Old Church, St Pancras, London; the couple had four daughters.
    William Daniell died at Camden Town, London, on 16 August 1837, aged 67 years. His uncle, Thomas, survived him by another three years, dying in 1840 at the remarkable age of 91. Both men are buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, London.
    During the second half of the 19th Century, the oils of the Daniells fell out of fashion and this did not change until the declaration of Queen Victoria as Empress of India. Marquis Curzon of Kedleston, Viceroy from 1899 to 1905, had a great enthusiasm for the Daniells' work, encouraging other expatriates to collect their paintings. Long after his retirement, he continued to acquire oils for the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta. Today the Daniells' works can be seen in major collections, including the Royal Collection, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Academy.

    Primary Sources:
    Daniell, William, Oriental Scenery. One hundred and fifty views of the architecture, antiquities, and landscape scenery of Hindoostan (with Thomas Daniell), London, 1816.
    The Oriental Annual, or, Scenes in India, comprising twenty-five engravings from original drawings by William Daniell and a descriptive account by the Rev. Hobart Caunter, London, 1834.
    Daniell, William, and Daniell, Thomas, A Picturesque Voyage to India: by way of China, London, 1810.
    Daniell, William, Daniell's Scotland: a voyage round the coast of Scotland and the adjacent isles, 1815-1822: a series of views, illustrative of the character and prominent features of the coast Edinburgh, 2006.
    Gentleman's Magazine 1837, 'Obituary' [October], pp. 429-30.
    Secondary Sources:
    Archer, Mildred Agnes, 'India Revealed: The aquatints of Thomas and William Daniell', Hemisphere: An Asian-Australian Annual 4 [27:2] (1982), 72-77.
    Glendening, John, The High Road: romantic tourism, Scotland, and literature, 1720-1820, Basingstoke, 1997.
    MacLeod, Innes Fraser, Sailing on Horseback: William Daniell and Richard Ayton in Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries, 1998.
    Michell, George, India, Yesterday and Today: two hundred years of architectural and topographical heritage in India, Shrewsbury, 1998.
    Shellim, Maurice, Oil Paintings of India and the East by Thomas Daniell RA 1749-1840 and William Daniell RA 1769-1837, London, 1979.
    Sutton, Thomas, The Daniells: artists and travellers, London, 1954.
    P. Rohatgi & P. Godrej (ed.), Under the Indian Sun: British landscape artists, Bombay, c. 1995.
    'Daniell, William' entry, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford 2005.

    We would like to thank Mr. Charles Greig for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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