Posted on: 11 June 2013

Near Attoor, in the Dindigul District - 1804

Plate 6 from the fourth set of Thomas and William Daniell's 'Oriental Scenery,' which they called 'Twenty-four Landscapes.' The views progress northwards from the far south at Cape Comorin to Srinagar in Garhwal in the Himalaya mountains. This southern Indian view evokes the grandiose dimension of the landscape near Attur, framed by a rugged range of hills. Umbrella trees are common features of this area which, as the artists wrote, forms a '...covering quite impervious to the rays of the sun...' and continued, '...even as we sat we were frequently exposed to a prickly shower upon the slightest agitation of the tree from the wind'.

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Wow, that tree!

If one would like to understand the nature of the pleasantly unreal compositions and aesthetics of the Daniells, the following two books are indispensable. More than just an account of their journey through India that Mildred Archer's work is about, these texts bring in art theory and it's development into the narrative - along with approaches to Indian landscapes that weren't Picturesque, like the Sublime approach of Hodges. Indian Renaissance: British Romantic Art and the Prospect of India ( Under the Banyan Tree: Relocating the Picturesque in British India (

How beautiful was my India.......