In 1824 following Burmese incursions into British held territory to include the successful invasion of Assam, the Governor General of India declared war. The British sent an expedition of 11,000 men under Maj General Archibald Campbell and ships under Captain Frederick Marryat. Providing a visual record from the departure of Campbell’s invasion force until shortly after the capture of Rangoon, this superb series of aquatints were after drawings made “on the spot” by Lieutenant Joseph Moore of the 89th Regiment. A second series of six plates by Marrayat was published the following year in 1826.
The First Anglo-Burmese War of 1824-26 was to be the most expensive campaign in British Indian history and subsequently would lead to a severe economic crisis there in 1833. This was the beginning of the end of Burma’s independence; two further wars with the British followed and the country was completely annexed in 1886. Moore’s aquatints are the first large-scale, coloured views of Burma and beautifully express the dichotomy between picturesque idylls and the realities of war.
Below are a few examples from this collection. Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution with details of the work itself. For the full list of original antique Moore aquatints, please do contact us.