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Thomas Daniell Collection

Daniell, Thomas, 1749-1840  Search this
1 Item (1 vol., ill., 77 x 59 cm.)
1 Item (pencil and ink wash on paper (73 x 46 cm.))
Item 1
Item 2
Item 3
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ellora Caves (India)
India -- Maharashtra -- Ellora Caves
Scope and Contents:
Collection consists of two items: 1. "Oriental Scenery, Vol. 5. Hindoo Excavations in the Mountain of Ellora, near Aurungabad, in the Decan." Atlas folio, 77 x 59 cm., bound in contemporary quarter roan over marbled boards, with 24 hand-colored aquatints by James Wales under the direction of Thomas Daniell and an engraved aquatint title page. Self-published by Daniell in London, 1808. Depicts images of the rock-cut architecture at the Ellora Caves near Aurangabad. 2. Original pencil and wash sketch by Thomas Daniell, depicting a waterfront scene populated by a group of small figures, some holding umbrellas. Unsigned, undated, 73 x 46 cm, backed with thicker paper.
2 folders, 3 linear feet
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas Daniell was an English landscape painter who spent eight years in India visiting historic sites and creating numerous images of what he saw.  He was born in 1749 in Kingston-upon-Thames in England and was educated as a landscape painter. He struggled to find work in that medium and ended up finding employment as an engraver for the East India Company in India, with his fifteen-year-old nephew William acting as his assistant. He and William took three trips across India, creating numerous drawings of Muslim and Hindu cultural and historic sites to be sent back to Europe. Once they returned to England, they published their drawings between 1795 and 1808 in a six-volume work titled Oriental Scenery. Coming at a time when there was increased interest in the customs, culture and architecture of distant lands, Daniell's work offered a new vision of India that would influence both decorative artists and architects. Thomas Daniell spent the rest of his life in England, becoming a Royal Academician and a fellow at the Asiatic Society, the Royal Society, and the Society of Antiquaries. He died on March 19, 1840 in his home in Kensington, London. 

On one of his trips across India he visited the caves at Ellora, an ancient religious site with thirty-five temples cut into the mountainside between 600-1000 CE. The shrines are excavated directly into the mountain and honor a mixture of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain figures. Many of the walls are covered in stone carving of religious and mythological figures. The most famous temple is the Kailasa temple, which is 165 feet long and 96 feet high and covered in extensive Hindu carvings. The temple complex is located approximately 19 miles away from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra.
Local Numbers:
FSA A2001.04
Related Materials:
Daniell Collections, 1785-1833. Archives and Manuscripts, the British Library.

Papers relating to the painters Thomas and William Daniell, collected by Sir Evan Cotton for a projected book, 1928-1939. Archives and Manuscripts, the British Library.

The journals of William Daniell, 1788-1792. Archives and Manuscripts, The British Library.
Collection is open for research.
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Rock-cut architecture -- India  Search this
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Online Media:

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