Illustrating India : The Early Colonial Investigations of Colin Mackenzie (1784-1821)
By Jennifer Howes
Published by Oxford University Press - 2010
Colin Mackenzie, the first Surveyor General of India, left behind a massive collection of manuscripts and drawings gathered between 1784 and 1821. Collected mainly in southern India, but also in north and east India, Sri Lanka, and Java, they form the largest and oldest extant archive of drawings to be gathered by a single European collector in Asia. The collection has never been comprehensively accessed and most historians are not even aware of its existence. This book presents for the first time a substantial though representative portion of Mackenzie's collection. The visuals in the book are records of monuments, sculpture, landscapes, castes, and social structure in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Jennifer Howes' narrative not only contextualizes the visuals but also provides a panoramic view of the Indian subcontinent between late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. She provides an engaging account of people and everyday life in Hyderabad and Mysore, trades and occupations, temples and monuments and the various surveys conducted by Mackenzie. This book will be a significant resource for scholars' of late medieval and early modern India. It will also interest art historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists. This book will be a significant resource for scholars' of late medieval and early modern India. It will also interest art historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists.
Illustrating India reveals for the first time a mine on unique and fascinating information on pre-colonial and early colonial india. The mackenzie collection, assembled by Colin Mackenzie, the first Surveyor General of India. between 1784 and 1821, contains the oldest and largest known repository of pictorial documents on the history and culture of india to be gathered by a single european collector. This book showcases monuments and shrines, sculpture landscapes, caste groups and social structures as described in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century india. Jennifer Howes' gripping narrative contextualizes the mackenzie drawings and provides a broad view of the Indian subcontient.
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