1854 Burmese Painting  

Posted by ေရွးျမန္မာ in

Techniques-Gouache on paper, with decorations picked out in gold paint, mounted on card
Place-Calcutta, India
Current Location- Victoria & Albert Museum
Museum number-IS.180-1950

This is one of three paintings (along with IS.179-1950 and IS.181-1950) which illustrate the visit of the Burmese King Mindon's envoy to Calcutta in 1854.

At the end of 1854, following the second Anglo-Burmese war of 1852, after which southern Burma fell to British rule, the Burmese King, Mindon Min (r. 1853-1878), sent his ambassador Ashin Nanmadaw Payawun Mingyi on an embassy of good will from his court at Amarapura to the Governor-General of India, Lord Dalhousie, in Calcutta. Sir Arthur Phayre, Commissioner of British Burma, accompanied the mission and acted as interpreter.

These three watercolours, which were presented to the Victoria and Albert Museum by the great niece of Sir Arthur Phayre, allow us to witness the pomp with which Burmese ministers travelled through the eyes of a Burmese court artist, who accompanied the mission.

At the third meeting in Calcutta, the ambassador is again shown with his entourage carrying his swords, gold umbrellas and receptacles of rank, but he is portrayed in a more relaxed mode, seated with Sir Arthur Phayre. His elaborate robes and headdress (see IS.179-1950 & IS. 181-1950) have been exchanged for items of dress that were worn by all classes of Burmese society--varying only in degree of costliness of fabric. A pahsoe (a type of sarong) of acheik luntaya silk worn with a simple white muslin ein-gyi (jacket) and gaung-baung (headcloth)

This entry was posted on Feb 22, 2009 at Sunday, February 22, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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