A Picturesque Voyage to India, by the Way of China.

London: Longman, Hurst [&c.], 1810.

Price: $15,000.00

About the item

First edition. 50 hand-colored aquatint plates on thick paper after T. and W. Daniell, watermarked 1808, each plate with one accompanying leaf of text. Folio. Contemporary half Russia and marbled boards. Front joint repaired, light wear to corners, light foxing to a few plates. Abbey Travel 516; Tooley 173; Colas 797; Lipperheide 1523.

Item #262720

Thomas Daniell, accompanied by his nephew William, left England on the China-bound Indiaman in 1785, returning to England by way of India in 1794. The journey, financed in part by the sale of oil paintings of their travels, was documented in William’s journal and by the publication of Oriental Scenery in 1795-1808 and A Picturesque Voyage to India, by the Way of China in 1810. The album opens with the Indiaman’s departure from Gravesend, a stop at Madiera, and a rough turn around the Cape of Good Hope. The majority of the views depict native life in Java (including shark fishing) and nautical scenes along the Chinese coast and Canton River, with some scenes of Chinese dress and manners.
"They worked primarily in the British capital of Calcutta, restoring paintings in the Council House and the Old Court House, as well as producing the first topographical series of prints of the city ('Views of Calcutta', 1786-8, aquatint and etching), which according to contemporary diaries and inventories proved extraordinarily popular among both an Indian and a European clientele. It has been suggested that Thomas Daniell was among the first British painters to use Indian assistants in printmaking; the influence of his landscape compositions and working techniques are visible in Indian topography, c.1790-1850 (including oils after the Views in the Victoria Memorial, Calcutta). Thomas Daniell played an instrumental role in graphically documenting a wide geographical and cultural range of sites across the Indian subcontinent, travelling more extensively than any of his contemporary colonial artists, and earning him the title 'artist-adventurer'. Assisted by his nephew, Daniell made three tours: from Calcutta to Srinagar (1788-91), a circular tour from Mysore to Madras (1792-3), and in 1793 they visited Bombay and its temple sites-always sketching, drawing, and painting intensively as they travelled" (ODNB).