Daniell, Thomas (1749-1840): The Taje Mahal, at Agra.
Bowyer, Robert London 1796
colour-printed aquatint with hand-finish; overall 52 x 70 cm; plate 49 x 65 cm. some dusting; one marginal tear not affecting image; on verso: paper hinges from previous framing; o/w exc. cond.
A beautiful view of the gate house with the Taj Mahal in the background, by Thomas Daniell and his nephew William who both spent nine years in India making sketches and drawings of the sights and scenery. It took them a further 13 years to produce these amazing aquatints which were published in ‘Oriental Scenery’ (1795,1791,1801), ‘Antiquities of India’ (1799) and ‘Hindoo Excavations’ (1803).
The Taj Mahal was erected by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, known as Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1629.
Thomas Daniell was born in 1749 in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey. He began his career apprenticed to an heraldic painter before attending the Royal Academy Schools. Although he exhibited 30 works – mainly landscapes and floral pieces – at the Academy between 1772 and 1784, Daniell found it difficult to establish himself as a landscape painter in Britain. Like many other Europeans at that time, Daniell was drawn to India by stories of the wealth and fame that awaited travellers to the newly accessible East, and in 1784 he obtained permission from the East India Company to travel to Calcutta to work as an engraver, accompanied by his nephew, William Daniell, as his assistant.
[ref: 3389] £3,500