Illustrating India: The Early Colonial Investigations of Colin Mackenzie (1784-1821)

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Oxford University Press, 2010 - Art - 269 pages
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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 ofdrawings 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 lateeighteenth 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 andearly 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.

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About the author (2010)


Jennifer Howes is the curator of the Mackenzie Collection drawings at the British Library.

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