Saturday, April 12, 2014

WALES, James (1747-1795)-life and times of a white man in India

WALES, James
(1747-1795)

Scottish portrait painter and draughtsman.
James Wales was born in Peterhead, Banffshire in 1747. At an early age he moved to Aberdeen and was educated at Marischal College. It was here that he also began to paint modest portraits on tin plates which were sold in Aberdeen for 1 - 1½ guineas each. As an artist he was largely self-taught, and he benefited from the early patronage of Francis Peacock in Aberdeen. He married Margaret Wallace (1759-1795), daughter of William Wallace of Dundee and Annie nee Taylor.
By 1783 Wales and his family had moved to London, where he is known to have exhibited at least three portraits at the Society of Artists by 1791, and three paintings at the Royal Academy between 1788 and 1789.
An amateur artist and East India Company official named James Forbes (1749-1819) had sailed for Bombay as a Writer in 1765. In 1772 he was appointed Member of Council at Anjengo. In 1775 he officiated as chaplain, later secretary, attached to British forces sent to assist Raghunath Rao in the Maratha civil wars until ill-health forced him to embark for England on 1 December 1775. He returned to India in 1777, and served in Gujarat until increased Maratha military activity forced his evacuation in 1782. He travelled to the Malabar coast, then embarked for England, where they landed at Portsmouth on 17 July 1784. Many of his experiences formed the basis of a publication that he published at his own expense in four volumes between 1813 and 1815, entitled Oriental Memoirs.
During his extended residency in India James Forbes had also made a significant number of watercolours of the Bombay area. When he returned to England in 1784 he commissioned James Wales to make paintings from two of his sketches. This commission helps to explain, in part, the subsequent decision by Wales to travel to Bombay.
Wales applied to the East India Company for permission to work in Bombay in 1790, was granted permission on 5 January 1791, and arrived in Bombay on 15 July 1791. Here he was fortunate to receive commissions from a fellow Scot, (Patrick) Craufurd Bruce (1748-1820), one of the sons of Sir Michael Bruce, 6th. Bart., who served in the East India Company, and was later to become a banker in London.
Although Bombay was a smaller and less affluent market than Calcutta or Madras for a British painter, Wales took the initiative and established himself in the small settlement. He gained a reputation, though little is known of his first year in Bombay. Captain Robert William Eastwick (1772-1865) [HEIC] recorded in his memoirs that upon his first arrival in Bombay in June 1792 he had met Wales:
"I had brought out with me a letter of introduction to a gentleman at Bombay named Wales, who was a portrait-painter, and a man of considerable influence in his way, for he knew everyone and his services were in constant request. He very kindly interested himself on my behalf, and procured me the appointment of second officer on board the Hormuzeer, a country ship







  • The Bombay country ships, 1790-1833
    Book by Anne Bulley
  • Concentrates on the period 1790-1833, especially the early nineteenth century when the Bombay merchant fleet was at its zenith, studying the ships, their trade and the men who owned or sailed in them. ... Google Books



    commanded by Captain Meeks,
    Capt John Meek (1791 - 1875) - Find A Grave Memorial


    which was then loading a cargo of cotton and opium for China."
    A Master Mariner. Being the Life and Adventures of Captain Robert William Eastwick. (ed.) Herbert Compton. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1890 p.68.
    Wales was fortunate enough in his first year to meet Sir Charles Warre Malet
    CWMalet.jpg

    Sir Charles Malet, 1st Baronet - Wikipedia,

    (1753-1815), the Political Resident at the Maratha court in Poona (from 1786 to 1797). Malet encouraged Wales to come to Poona and the first visit took place between July and December 1792. In addition to painting portraits for Malet, Wales painted a number of remarkable portraits of the Maratha chiefs and their ministers. The most impressive surviving example is a group portrait, 'Madhu Rao Narayan, the Maratha Peshwa with Nana Fadnavis and Attendants'
    e:Madhu Rao Narayan the Maratha Peshwa with Nana Fadnavis and attendants Poona 1792

    (1792: Royal Asiatic Society, London).


    In this regard Wales was highly influential for his role in introducing European art to the Maratha court, persuading the Peshwa to establish a school for drawing and negotiating the use of a "Bungella" for the display of works of art.

    Wales returned to Poona for a short time in 1793, again in September-October 1794, and finally, in January and April in 1795. The patronage of Malet and the Maratha court undoubtedly provided Wales with a steady source of income. In addition, in March 1793 Wales met the travelling artists Thomas and William Daniell, who encouraged him to continue his detailed drawings of Indian caves and temples.

    Wales had left his wife, Margaret, and their daughters, Susanna (1779-1868),


    Anna, Helen (c1786-c1792) (+ 2) in Hampstead, Middlesex; although he soon encouraged them to join him in Bombay after learning of the death of his six-year-old daughter Helen in 1792. The Wales family arrived in India some time in 1793, but Margaret died in childbirth in May 1795 at Colaba, aged 36 years — leaving James Wales alone to provide for five daughters.
    The tragic loss of his wife was compounded later the same year when Wales contracted a fever [in November] while travelling on a sketching excursion to the Kanheri Caves on Salsette Island. He was carried back to Bombay, but he died there on 18 November 1795:
    "Lately, at Salsette, an island in Bombay harbour, where he went to make drawings, Mr. Wales the artist."
    [see: Gentleman's Magazine, June 1796 p.529].
    His infant daughter, Angelica, died soon afterwards in December 1795, aged 7 months. A memorial tablet erected later in St Thomas' Cathedral, Bombay, commemorates this tragic family tale:
    Sacred
    To the memory of
    JAMES WALES, Gent,
    A native of Peterhead, Aberdeenshire,
    Who died in Nov. 1795,
    Aged 48 years.

    Also
    To the memory of Margaret, his wife,
    Daughter of William Wallace,
    Annie Taylor, his wife of Dundee,
    Who died in May 1795,
    Aged 33 years.

    Also
    Of Angelica, their Infant Daughter,
    Born at Colaba, Who died in Dec., 1795,
    Aged 7 months.
    This Tablet is erected by Susan,
    The eldest of
    Four surviving daughters,
    In grateful and affectionate
    Remembrance of her parents.

    [No. 15, South Wall, St Thomas’ Church, Bombay]
    [Transcribed in Douglas, James. Glimpses of Old Bombay and Western India. London: Sampson, Low, Marston and co., 1900 p.80].
    The majority of Wales's work would have been lost or forgotten had it not been for the diligence of his friend and patron Charles Warre Malet,
    CWMalet.jpg

    who had been created a baronet in February 1791 for his services in negotiating a triple alliance between the British East India Company, the Nizam of Hyderabad, and the Maratha Peshwa against Tipu Sultan, the Rajah of Mysore.

    More significantly, after the deaths of James and Margaret Wales in 1795 the care of the Wales children devolved upon Sir Charles Malet. He had already had formed a union with the Maratha princess, Amber Kaur, and fathered three children. When Malet retired from India in 1798 he left his bibi Amber Kaur well established in Poona, and took Wales' eldest daughter, Susanna, aged 20, and at least one of her sisters with him to England.

    After renouncing his guardianship of Susanna (1779-1868) he married her on 17 September 1799. She became his third wife. There were eight sons from their marriage: Sir Alexander Malet (1800–1886) second baronet; Charles St. Lo. (1802-1889); William Wyndham Malet (1803–1885) clergyman; George Grenville Malet (1804–1856) army officer; Arthur Malet (1806–1888) East India Company servant and writer; Hugh Poyntz (1808-1904); Octavius Warre (1811-1891); Alfred Augustus (1814-1898).

    The three children that Amber Kaur

    Indian Renaissance: British Romantic Art and the Prospect ...

    books.google.co.in/books?isbn=075463681X
    Hermione De Almeida, ‎George H. Gilpin - 2005 - ‎Art
    Amber Kaur was a princess of Rajputana, a feudal holding of the Maratha rulers ... In 1790, Malet had successfully negotiated a treaty with the Maratha prince ...

    bore to Malet: Eliza (1791-), Henry Charles (1793-) and Louisa (1795-) also joined the family in England, and Susanna brought them up along with her own eight sons.

    In 1800 Malet arranged, with the assistance of the artist Thomas Daniell

    (1749-1840), for the publication of a selection of Wales's views of Bombay in a work entitled: Twelve Views of the Island of Bombay and Its Vicinity: taken in the years 1791 and 1792. In 1801 Malet published an article in Asiatic Researches on the architectural and historical features of the caves at Ellora. He retained a life-long interest in India and was created a fellow of the Royal Society and fellow of the Society of Arts. He died on 24 January 1815, at Bath. Susanna Malet [nee Wales] died on 21 December 1868, aged 89 years.
    The Macquarie Connection
    Did Lachlan Macquarie


    Lachlan Macquarie
    Governor






  • Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB, was a Scottish British army officer and colonial administrator. He served as the last autocratic Governor of New South Wales, Australia from 1810 to 1821 and had a ... Wikipedia













  • Born: January 31, 1762, Ulva, United Kingdom






  • Spouse: Elizabeth Macquarie (m. 1807), Jane Jarvis (m. 1793)



    know James Wales?
    The evidence is inconclusive. There is no direct mention of Wales' name in Macquarie's writings, however in his journal entry for 31 December 1792 Macquarie records that:
    General Carnac

    The correspondence of Brigadier-General John Carnac, 1760-1769gave a Ball & Supper at the Tavern, to the principal Ladies and Gentlemen of the Settlement, in honour of Earl Cornwallis's Birth-day. — I had the honor of dancing with Miss Jarvis. —
    At the same time we have an entry by Wales on 30 December 1792 "At home all day and resolved to be as seldom from home as possible having told all my friends of the necessity I am under to attend work constantly." However he went to the New Year's Eve Ball given by General Carnac the next day, though he was back at work by 11 o'clock.
    So here, at the beginning of Macquarie's courtship of Jane Jarvis, we have both men at the same event, moving in the same social circle.
    As a resident of Bombay in the period 1791-1794 Macquarie could have become acquainted with Wales, and later, as an intimate of Governor Duncan and the higher eschelons of officers and civil officials at Bombay in the years 1797-1801 and 1805-1807, he would have been privy to the subsequent fate of the Wales and Malet families. The European community in Bombay at this time was a close-knit and highly inter-connected social circle — linked by patronage, obligation and marriage. What is clear is that Macquarie visited all the places documented by Wales and was familiar with the geographic diversity of the necklace of tidal islands that formed the settlement of Bombay in the late C18th.
    There is, however, a more compelling and direct link between the two men. For Wales did not work completely alone in India. He was assisted by three artists: Robert Mabon (d.1798) a British soldier; Gangaram Chintaman Tambat,

    Gangaram Chintaman Tambat | This write life


    a Hindu artist; and José, a Goan artist.
    Mabon was a soldier in the 77th Regiment, whose commission Wales had purchased to release him from duty — and the 77th Regiment was also Lachlan Macquarie's regiment at this time. As an officer in the regiment Macquarie would have been familiar with the muster rolls of the men under his command, including the name of Mabon.

    Although it is unclear when Mabon left the 77th. Regiment it seems most likely it would have been after the regiment returned to Bombay on 21 April 1792, following its role in the siege of Seringapatam and the surrender of Tipu Sultan in the Third Anglo-Mysore War (1791-1792). By the 23 May 1792 the 77th. Regiment was garrisoned in its barracks on Colabah, and Mabon may have been keen to end his military service after his recent experiences in Mysore.

    Wales had arrived in Bombay in July 1791 and is known to have lived on Colabah.
    preview
    A view of Malabar Point from Colabah. May 1811.

    preview
    The ferry-boat, between Bombay and Colabah.
    His first visit to Poona took place between July and December 1792 and there is strong evidence that Mabon accompanied him on this trip, as evidenced in a series of watercolours dated to c.1792, and now held in the Paul Mellon Collection at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. Mabon was a talented draughtsmen who excelled at the detailed representation of Maratha costume and artefacts. Wales would be more likely to have recruited him as an assistant for this expedition rather than for studio activities in Bombay in 1791-1792.
    Macquarie has left us with a description of Colabah in June 1792:
    I joined the Regiment, and took up my residence at my own House on Coolabah; I am much pleased with my Bungaloe [sic] and its situation which is truly a very delightful one indeed, commanding a beautiful Prospect of the Town and Harbour of Bombay, the Islands, the opposite Shore and Sea. —
    After Wales' death in 1795 Mabon moved to Calcutta in 1796, where he etched and published 20 plates as Sketches Illustrative of Oriental Manners and Costumes. He died in Calcutta in 1798.
    Top of page
    References:

    Primary
    WALES, James. Twelve Views of the Island of Bombay and Its Vicinity: taken in the years 1791 and 1792. London: R. Cribb, 1800.
    ERSKINE, William. 'Account of the Cave-Temple of Elephanta, with a Plan and Drawings of the Principal Figures'. Transactions of the Bombay Literary Society. pp.198-250 [see: pp.207-208].
    Gentleman's Magazine, June 1796 p.529 [Death Notice].

    Secondary
    de ALMEIDA, Hermione and GILPIN, George H. Indian Renaissance: British Romantic art and the prospect of India. Ashgate, 2005 pp.126-132.
    ARCHER, Mildred Agnes. 'James Wales: portrait painter in Bombay and Poona, 1791-95'. Journal of the Indian Society of Oriental Art, No. 8 (1977), pp.57-64.
    DWIVEDI, Sharada and MEHROTRA, Rahul. Bombay: the cities within. Bombay: Eminence Designs, 2001.
    EATON, Natasha. "Between Mimesis and Alterity: art, gift, and diplomacy in colonial India, 1770-1800." Comparative Studies in Society and History (2004), 46, pp.816-844.
    FORDHAM, Douglas. "Costume Dramas: British art at the court of the Marathas." Representations Winter 2008, pp.57-85.
    HARDGRAVE, Robert L. A Portrait of the Hindus: Balthazar Solvyns & the European Image of India 1760-1824. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
    HYSING, Dorthea. Governor-General Peter Anker, Painter and Collector: memories of India - 20 years in Trankebar, University Museum of Cultural Heritage, Oslo, Norway. Oslo: Universitetets kulturhistoriske museer, 2002. [Exhibition catalogue].
    A Master Mariner. Being the Life and Adventures of Captain Robert William Eastwick. (ed.) Herbert Compton. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1890.
    Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. [see entry: 'James Wales'].
    ROHATGI, Pauline. "Early Impressions of the Islands: James Forbes and James Wales in Bombay 1766-95." in Bombay to Mumbai: Changing Perspectives [Marg Vol. 48 No. 4 and Vol. 49 No. 1]. (eds.) Pauline Rohatgi, Pheroza Godrej and Rahul Mehrotra. Mumbai: Marg Publications, 1997.
    TINDALL, G. City of Gold: the biography of Bombay. London: Temple Smith, 1982.

    University of Oslo. Kulturhistorisk Museum. Peter Anker Collection.



     

    Bhairo Raghunath Mehendale, Diplomatic Agent to the Peshwa at Poona

    by James Wales

    Mahadaji Sindhia

    Mahadaji Sindhia

    by James Wales

    Date painted: c.1792

    [Gallery: India]
    James Wales (1747-1795) was a noted Scottish portrait painter and draughtsman. He was a contemporary of Lachlan Macquarie in Bombay in the last decade of the C18th.
    In the period between Wales' arrival in Bombay in July 1791 and his tragic death in November 1795 he executed a number of important and evocative views of the settlement and its environs.
    This selection of images has been made available (with permission) from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway. They were originally published posthumously in 1800 in the work Twelve Views of the Island of Bombay and Its Vicinity: taken in the years 1791 and 1792. They provide a unique perspective on the landscape and daily life of Bombay in the last decade of the C18th.
    [Malabar Hill, Bombay.]
    View from Malabar Hill
    [Love Grove, Bombay.]
    View of Breach from Love Grove.
    [Breach Causeway, Bombay.]
    View of Breach Causeway
    [View From Belmont.]
    View From Belmont.
    [View From Belmont.]
    View From Belmont.
    [View from Sion Fort.]
    View from Sion Fort.
    [View From the Island of Elephanta.]
    View from Sion Fort.
    [View From the Island of Elephanta.]
    View from Island of Elephanta.
    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |



    WALES, James (1747-1795)
    View from Sion Fort

    [Sion Fort 1]
    Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Plate 10: View from Sion Fort, 1791-1792.

    James Wales prepared two views of Bombay and its environs from within the walls of Sion Fort. In this first Plate [No. 10] there is a panoramic view over the islands and saltpans of the Bombay archipelago. The view looks down from the Sion Fort gate to Bombay and the Neat's Tongue, bounded by the Mahratta Mountains. James Wales infuses the scene with strong domestic setting, depicting a squatting Indian sepoy (possibly smoking a bhang pipe), with his wife nursing a baby, a small child, dog, and two bullocks (for pulling a two-wheel carriage) in a courtyard outside their modest dwelling beside the fort ramparts. The coastline and horizon are barely distinguishable in the suffused light, though in the middle distance the scene is punctured by the distinctive silhouettes of the coconut palms.
    The original Sion Fort was built between 1669 and 1677 by the second British governor of Bombay, Gerard Aungier (c1635-1677), on top of a conical hillock, and it marked the northeast boundary between the British-held Parel Island and Portuguese-held Salsette Island.
    Macquarie Connection
    Lachlan Macquarie recorded in his journal on 5 October 1789 that he had visited Sion:
    I went upon a very pleasant Party today, along with Col. and Mrs. Stirling, and Mr. and Mrs. Herring, and a number of Gentlemen, to Meham, [sic] and Sion Fort, where we dined and spent a very agreeable day; From the Fort on Sion Hill, which commands a most extensive view, we had a most charming Prospect of every part of the Island of Bombay, the neighbouring Islands, and Continent, which along with the variety of breaks of water intervening, forms a most beautiful and very Picturesque Scene; Sion Fort is Nine Measured Miles from Bombay Fort and is one of the Extremities of the Island, – being divided only by a very narrow channel from the large Island of Salcet, [sic] belonging also to the Presidency of Bombay. —
    I travelled to Sion in a Palanquin, having Eight Bearers – a very easy and comfortable mode of Travelling in this Country. — We all returned in the Evening to Bombay. —"


    WALES, James (1747-1795)
    View from Sion Fort


    [Sion Fort 2]

    Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Plate 11: View from Sion Fort, 1791-1792.


    In this second Plate [No. 11] James Wales provides an alternative panoramic view from the Sion Fort. From the vantage of Sion Fort, the view opens out to the island of Mahim. In this scene the walls of the fort dominate the foreground, with the curving line of the ramparts and an imposing cannon mounted in the battlement wall. The rising staircase and buildings behind the gun carriage are surmounted by a flagstaff asserting British sovereignty over the island. In other versions of this Plate there is no flag suspended on the flagstaff, so its inclusion here is an intriguing anomaly [cf: coloured etching held by Yale Center for British Art, listed as Plate 11, dated 1800, London].
    The figures descending the stairs provide an ironic yet humorous counterpoint to the scene. There is the stout portly figure of an English military official whose waist is bursting from his red uniform, clearly the figure of a buffoon. He is accompanied by a European woman whose hand he holds; behind them follow two figures, one of whom is a woman carrying a small child. The status of these other women is unclear. The companion is clearly a figure of affection, while the woman in blue is presumably a nanny or wetnurse to the child. A one-legged, one-armed sepoy veteran stands waiting to greet the group, thereby highlighting the additional use of the fort as a sepoy hospital or hospice for military veterans. Once again the flat lands below the fort stretch into the indeterminate distance under a wide dominating sky. There are buildings and plantation areas with associated coconut palms in the middle distance, as well as thick clusters of native trees. On the far right of the picture, though significantly trimmed in this versio, is a pagoda, tomb or sati pavilion.
    References:
    Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. [See entry: 'Gerald Aungier (c1635-1677)'].
    de ALMEIDA, Hermione and GILPIN, George H. Indian Renaissance: British Romantic Art and the Prospect of India. Ashgate, 2005 pp.130-131.

    WALES, James (1747-1795)
    View From the Island of Elephanta

    [Elephanta]
    Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Plate 12: View From the Island of Elephanta, 1791-1792.

    Plate 12 is the final view in the posthumous series of works by James Wales. In this scene Bombay and its adjoining islands are barely discernible. They float in the middle distance, almost invisible, upon a smooth calm sea, under a high canopy of cloud and blue sky. The foreground is dominated by the well-known black rock elephant sculpture at that time located outside the entrance to the namesake Elephanta cave-temple. This massive elephant towers over the scene, though intriguingly, along with the temple pagoda depicted in Plate 11, it represents the only other example of Indian antiquity depicted by Wales in his perspectives of Bombay and its islands. This absence, or artistic restraint, is noteworthy when compared to other contemporary artists who often embellished their landscapes with exotic cultural examples to enhance their works. The number and variety of monuments and artefacts available throughout the region was quite significant so we must assume that Wales' interest was directed towards other modes of representation. It was not a case that he lacked interest in architectural drawings, for he spent the years 1793-1794 visiting and sketching monumental sites of interest throughout the Poona and Ellora districts, as well as on the island of Salsette. And it was on a visit to the caves and antiquities of Salsette in October 1795 that Wales caught the fever from which he eventually died on 18 November 1795.
    The caves and rock-cut temple are the focal point of Gharapuri Island, and subsequently renamed Elephanta Island by the Portuguese. The island is located in the inlet formed between the original outer islands of Bombay and the mainland. It is approximately five miles in circumference and the smallest, but also purportedly, the oldest of the cave-temples of western India. [see: de Almeida and Gilpin, G. Indian Renaissance pp.47-55 and Note 32]. The temple site covers an area of approximately 60,000 sq ft (5,600 sq. m.) and contains reliefs, sculptures, and a sanctuary dedicated to the Hindu god Siva, and dated to the sixth century AD. It consists of a main chamber, two lateral ones, courtyards and subsidiary shrines. However none of this is visible in this work by James Wales. It is the remoteness, antiquity, and the spiritual richness of the sculptures at Elephanta, compared to those visible at Kanheri on Salsette island and at Ellora on the mainland, that drew Wales back here on regular field trips.
    Although the large sculpture of an elephant with a tiger on its back was located near the main portico of the temple complex and Wales' depiction does not include this detail in his rendering of the scene. Even in the time of his artistic predecessor, James Forbes (1745-1819), the sculpture had suffered from exposure and damage, and in 1864 it was relocated to Victoria Gardens, Bombay.
    The figure of the elephant was an important artistic as well as archaeological object and an important account was recorded by historian and orientalist William Erskine (1773-1852) in the Transactions of the Bombay Literary Society in 1819. The description replicates almost exactly the viewpoint presented in the engraving by James Wales:
    "...The celebrated caves of Elephanta are situated in the beautiful island of that name, which is called by the natives Gara-pori: it lies in the bay of Bombay, about seven miles from Bombay Castle and five miles from the Mahratta shore. It is nearly six miles in circumference, and is composed of two long hills with a narrow valley between them. The usual landing-place is towards the south, where the valley is broadest.
    About two hundred and fifty yards to the right of the landing-place, on the rising side of one of the hills not far from a ruined Portuguese edifice, stands a large and clumsy elephant cut out of an insulated black rock; –– from this the island has taken its present name. The elephant has a fissure running through its back, which is separated so that the back has sunk a little downward upon the fore-flank. Captain Pyke, in his account of the Caves, written in 1712,* [see: Archaeologia Vol. vii. p.323] mentions that this elephant had a smaller one on its back. An engraving of both as they stood at that time may be found in Archaeologia; from which it appears that even then the fissure had begun to appear, and had nearly reached upwards to the top of the back. Anquetil ** [see: Zendavesta, Ouvrage de Zoroastre &c. Vol. i. p.423] describes the young elephant as existing in 1760, when he visited Elephanta. Niebuhr [see: Voyages de Niebuhr. Vol. ii. p.33] observes, that the large elephant had on its back something which age had worn so much that it was impossible to distinguish what it was, and that the large elephant was split, and even then (1764) expected to fall to pieces. The figure is poorly sculptured but at a distance and seen through the brushwood may easily be mistaken for a real elephant.
    In September 1814 (after the above was written) the head and neck of the elephant at last dropped off, and the body of the elephant has since sunk down and threatens to fall. I had however, in the November preceding, taken an accurate measurement of all its dimensions in company with Captain Basil Hall of the Royal Navy, to whose friendship I owe the annexed very accurate drawing of its appearance at that time (Plate I). It seems to have been formed of a detached mass of blackish rock, which is unconnected with any stratum below. By applying a ladder we mounted the back of the elephant, for the purpose of observing if any traces remained of the young elephant, said by Pyke and Anquetil to have been placed on it. The remains of its four paws, as well as the marks of the juncture of its belly with the back of a larger animal, were perfectly distinct; and the appearance it offered in the annexed drawing made by Captain Hall (Plate II), who from its present appearance conjectures that it must have been a tiger rather than a young elephant; an idea in which I feel disposed to agree … as well on account of the sprawling appearance of the animal, as because the back of the mother is a very unnatural situation for a young elephant; and because the supposition of its being a tiger would correspond much better with the popular legends of the Hindus..."
    Erskine, William. 'Account of the Cave-Temple of Elephanta, with a Plan and Drawings of the Principal Figures'. Transactions of the Bombay Literary Society. pp. 198-250 [see: pp.207-208].
    A second point of interest in the engraving by Wales appears in the centre of the picture where there is a mixed group of European visitors and a large company of Indian servants. A military officer in a red jacket, accompanied by a European woman and a small child are walking towards the Caves, sheltering from the sun under a large parasol held over them by an Indian attendant. The possibility has been raised by Dorothea Hysing [2002] that these figures are in fact Major-General Peter Anker (1744-1832), the Danish governor of Tranquebar, accompanied by his companion, the British widow Mrs Mallard and her son. Anker remained at this post from 1788 until 1805. The engraving may have been produced by Wales as a tribute to their relationship. Mrs. Mallard died in May 1791 two months prior to the arrival of Wales in Bombay; however Hysing speculates that Wales may have known Mrs. Mallard in London and/or alternatively Anker during the time when he was the Danish Consul-General for Britain [1783-1786]. (See: p.88) Wales and his wife and children had moved to London by 1783, where he is known to have exhibited two portraits at the Society of Artists.
    Behind the trio of Europeans can be seen two palanquins whose bearers are standing and squatting on the ground, relaxing from their recent labours. Near the shoreline a boat has recently disembarked more visitors. They can be seen walking along a rocky promontory, assisted by local Indians who carry various chairs and accoutrements for their outing to Elephanta. As with the other views by Wales the scene is punctuated in the foreground and middle distance by an assortment of native vegetation and coconut palms. Wales wrote that this image was: "Taken from the Landing-Place of this celebrated Island, exhibiting the colossal statue of the Elephant whence it is named, including the little island of Butcher on the right." The rock-cut temples dating to some 6th century AD on this island are dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva in the form of Mahadeva.
    Macquarie Connection
    Macquarie visited the island of Elephanta on 9 October 1790, ten months prior to Wales' arrival in India, though it is unclear whether this was his first visit to the island:
    Saturday. I spent a very pleasant Day on an Excursion to Elephanta Caves, along with Col. Balfour and some other Brother Officers.
    Source: 
    Twelve Views of Bombay and its Vicinity. London: R. Cribb, 1800.

    WALES, James (1747-1795)
    View from Belmont

    [Belmont2]
    Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Plate 8: View from Belmont, 1791-1792.

    [Mazagaon, Bombay, to the south]

    In the distance can be seen the flagstaff at Bombay Fort. The dockyard and Harbour are barely discernible, though ships can be seen moored in the Harbour. The view shows the islands of Bombay, part of the village of Mazagaon, and the Mahratta mountains in the background. The top of Belvidere House and Cross Island are on the left, to the right is Fort George, and across the water lay Chaul and Kanheri.
    Source: 
    Twelve Views of Bombay and its Vicinity. London: R. Cribb, 1800.
    Unfortunately, the related Plate 9. View from Belmont, 1791-1792. [Mazagaon, Bombay, to the north] is NOT held in the University of Oslo. Kulturhistorisk Museum. Peter Anker Collection.

    WALES, James (1747-1795)
    View from Belmont

    [Belmont1]
    Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Plate 7: View from Belmont, 1791-1792.

    [Mazagaon, Bombay, to the east]

    James Wales prepared three views from Belmont or Mazagoan Hill. This Plate and its associated views are dominated by numerous spindley coconut trees in the foreground and middle distance, reaffirming Bombay's local reputation as the 'Isle of Palms'. The view in Plate 7 is looking eastward towards distant mountains on the mainland. Below the hill can be seen an assortment of buildings and warehouses and paddy fields. In the foreground a figure is halfway up the trunk of a coconut palm collecting coconuts, while below another man is carrying a cluster of harvested coconuts that are suspended from his shoulder on a pole. The island in the middle distance is probably Butcher's Island, behind which, obscured from sight, lay the island of Elephanta.
    The view shows "Belmont toward the beach of the Harbour, including part of the village of Mazagon, the islands of Carranjar, Elephanta and Butcher, bounded by the hills". At this time Mazagaon was an outlying suburb of Bombay, and a fashionable place to live in the late 18th century. The crowded Fort area encouraged the British - and more affluent Indians such as the Wadias - to build bungalows and plantation houses here in a location where they could enjoy the fresh, cooler air and a higher vista over the landscape.
    Source: 
    Twelve Views of Bombay and its Vicinity. London: R. Cribb, 1800.

    WALES, James (1747-1795)
    View of the Breach Causeway

    [Breach Causeway]
    Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Plate 5: View of the Breach Causeway.

    The Breach Causeway at Mahalaxmi provides a picture of rural tranquillity set beside a flat sandy beach and a circle of calm water amidst the necklace of tidal islands that formed Bombay in the late C18th. The reclamation of the tidal flats would consolidate the area into unified whole in the C19th, but at the time of Wales' rendering of the scene there is a sense of idyllic simplicity.
    In the immediate foreground, on the left of the picture, a massive Indian banyan tree rises to frame the picture and provides a commanding reference point. At the right edge of the picture there is a procession of small Indian and English figures moving along the road. In the foreground are three examples of local methods of transportation: a palanquin, a 'Bengal chair', and a myanna (or small litter suspended from a bamboo pole). The palanquin is being carried towards a long causeway at the centre of the picture. Among the dwellings, adjoining the village well and small sandy beach, Indian figures can be seen moving about their daily tasks. A man on horseback is riding towards the causeway.
    Two canopied carriages, one of which is horsedrawn, can be seen moving along the roadway embankment. One is heading along Parel Road towards the ancient Mahalakshmi temple, a Hindu and Parsi shrine well known to the inhabitants of the Bombay islands, but not shown in Wales' landscape. The other carriage drawn by two bullocks and is approaching the village to the right of the picture. A small boat in a circle of calm water provides an offset focus to the centre of the image, while beyond, under a pale blue sky, the north-eastern horizon is punctured by the outline of the distant mountains.
    This causeway or vellard, north of Cumballa Hill, was commenced in 1782 and completed in 1784 and became known as the Hornby's Vellard. It was one of the first major engineering projects aimed at transforming the original seven islands of Bombay into a single island with a deep natural harbour. The project was started by William Hornby (d.1803) during his governorship of Bombay from 1771-1784. The initiative was carried out against the wishes of the Directors of the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), but to great acclaim by the local inhabitants as it transformed the geography of the islands by opening up the marshy areas of Mahalaxmi and Kamathipura for habitation.
    The primary purpose of the causeway was to block the Worli creek and prevent the low-lying areas of Bombay from being flooded by the sea. The causeway formed a crucial connection between north and south Bombay, thereby consolidating the central portion of the island thereby uniting the land north between Mahim and West Parel with the area south of Worli which was normally flooded at high tide.
    The word vellard appears to be a local corruption of the Portuguese word vallado meaning 'barrier' or 'embankment'. All the Bombay islands were finally linked by 1838.
    Macquarie Connection:
    Lachlan Macquarie was familiar with the Breach area and in his journal on the 15 May 1790 he noted that:
    "I spent this day very agreeably in a Party given by Mr. Page on the Breach water on board of a jung-Gaur, in which we dined and had a Concert."
    References:
    de ALMEIDA, Hermione and GILPIN, George H. Indian Renaissance: British romantic art and the prospect of India. Ashgate, 2005 pp.128-130.
    DWIVEDI, Sharada and MEHROTRA, Rahul. Bombay: the cities within. Bombay: Eminence Designs, 2001 p.28.
    YULE, Henry and Burnell, A.C. Hobson-Jobson: a glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive. [See entries for: 'vellard' and 'jangar'].

    WALES, James (1747-1795)
    View of the Breach from Love Grove

    [Love Grove]
    Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Plate 6: View of the Breach from Love Grove.

    The island of Worli was connected to the main island of Bombay in 1784, with the completion of the Hornby Vellard. Prior to this, Worli is known to have contained a mosque, the Haji Ali dargah, on a rock in the sea, connected at low-tide to the island by a natural causeway. There was also a fort and a fishing village to the north, close to the island of Mahim. This view shows the perspective from Love Grove Hill on the southern extremity of Worli looking towards the pinnacled Hindu temple at Mahalaksmi. This area became known as the Byculla Flats.
    There is a romantic Muslim legend attached to Love Grove, on the right of the view. It concerns two drowned lovers, who today are commemorated in Hadji Ali's mosque.
    Source: 
    Twelve Views of Bombay and its Vicinity. London: R. Cribb, 1800.

    WALES, James (1747-1795)
    View from Malabar Hill

    [Malabar Hill]
    Used with permission from the Peter Anker Collection held in the Kulturhistorisk Museum at the University of Oslo, Norway.

    Plate 3: View from Malabar Hill

    [Bombay: part of panorama with Plate 4].

    This image forms the left hand side of a two-part panorama. The foreground is dominated by the rocky outcrop at the top of Malabar Hill. In the middle distance can seen the outline of Bombay Fort and the associated town. The islands of Karanja and Elephanta are pictured in the distance, with the Mahratta Mountains in the background.
    The sweep of the shoreline of Back Bay and the tidal flats are just visible, though there is no indication of the European burial ground at Sonapur or the recently completed Belassis Road that linked Malabar Hill to Bombay. The buildings in the foreground may include 'Randall Lodge', the country residence of Major-General John Bellasis (1744-1808) HEIC, Commander of the Forces and Colonel of Artillery at Bombay. It was located on the promontory leading to Malabar Point.
    What is intriguing about this version is that the thick vegetation overhanging the rock on the left, and the palm leaves on the right, do not appear in the completed two-plate version held in the British Library, or elsewhere. These are embellishments or adornments added by the colourist of this individual Plate, possibly Peter Anker.

    Bombay harbour c13640-73
    Bombay Harbour from James Wales, Bombay views: twelve views of the island of Bombay and its vicinity (London, 1800) - 


    Twelve Views of Bombay and its Vicinity. London: R. Cribb, 1800.
    Note: Plate 4: View from Malabar Hill [Bombay, part panorama with 3] is not held in the University of Oslo, Kulturhistorisk Museum, Peter Anker Collection]. The remainder of the panoramic view extends across the western half of Back Bay, and includes Old Woman's Island, the lighthouse, Mendham's Point, and the Flag Staff at Malabar Point.




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    August 5, 2012 | History
    Cover of: Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers. by Douglas, James

    Glimpses of old Bombay and western India, with other papers.

    Published by S. Low, Marston in London .

    The Physical Object

    Pagination xiii, 334 p. ;

    ID Numbers

    Open Library OL7034623M
    Internet Archive glimpsesofoldbom00dougrich
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    Thomas Daniell, Sir Charles Warre Malet, Concluding a Treaty in 1790 in Durbar with the Peshwa of the Maratha Empire 1805

    Display caption

    Malet, of the East India Company, presents a scroll to the Peshwa Madhavrao II, formalising an alliance against another Indian ruler, Tipu Sultan of Mysore. The painting was commissioned by Malet to commemorate his role in the treaty and the ultimate defeat of Tipu Sultan.
    Daniell completed this work after the death in 1795 of James Wales, the Scottish artist who received the original commission from Malet. Daniell painted it in England, but had travelled extensively in India. His delight in Indian subjects is evident in the statues of Ganesh and Vishnu, the painted frieze, costumes and architecture.

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