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It is regarded as one of the quintessential artistic depictions of the subcontinent in the 18th century. An outcome of William Daniell and nephew Thomas Daniell's 15-year-long India sojourn, Oriental Scenery — six series of hand-coloured aquatints (of 24 prints each) — will now come under the hammer at the Sotheby's Fine Travel and Illustrated Books auction on February 28. Estimated between £1,50,000 to £2,50,000, the set, completed over the course of 13 years, from 1795 to 1808, depicts landscape views, architecture and antiquities that chronicle their journey across India, from Madras to the Garwhal mountains. "The work was in large measure responsible for the early 19th-century fashion for Indian-inspired architecture in England, reflected in the works of, for example, Humphry Repton and John Nash," notes the auction catalogue.
Comprising a total of 142 lots, the auction that includes works on Sri Lanka, Turkey and Egypt will include eight lots that trace their origin to India. This includes a collection of 41 company school watercolours of the Taj Mahal and elsewhere, painted by company school and Prince Alexis Soltykoff's 1894 Voyage Dans L'Inde Pendant Les Annees depicting scenes from Madras, Travancore, Gwalior, Calcutta, and Delhi, among others.