Thomas Daniell and his nephew William spent some nine years, from 1785 to 1794, in India making their studies, sketches and drawings of the scenery, architecture and antiquities there and then devoted a further thirteen years to publishing their remarkably accurate aquatints. The work is arranged in six parts, and is here bound so that the two parts which deal with excavations (Hindoo Excavations) and antiquities (Antiquities of India) appear together. The present set contains the eight engraved plans cited by Tooley but thought by Abbey to appear only in the 1812-1816 4to edition. It also contains the twelve supplementary plates in the Antiquities of India section which were issued without title on completion of the final part of the work.
Oriental Scenery was a costly work at the time of publication, being offered at 200 guineas. This compares with the price of about £100 for the hand-coloured lithographs of David Roberts's Holy Land, issued some fifty years later. The work was in large measure responsible for the early nineteenth-century fashion for Indian-inspired architecture in England, reflected in the works of, for example, Humphry Repton and John Nash.
See also catalogue frontispiece for another illustration from this work.
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