Uncle and nephew Thomas and William Daniell came from a family of English painters and printmakers. The elder Daniell, a painter trained at the Royal Academy Schools, took over his orphaned nephew’s education, travelling with William to India in 1784.
Arriving in Calcutta, the Daniells produced a series of images which appealed to European expatriates living in the rapidly-expanding city. The success of this venture persuaded Thomas and William to make a sketching tour of northern India and the Himalayas (1788-91). This was followed by another, through southern and western India. Between 1795 and 1808 their opus Oriental Scenery was published in six parts, comprising 144 fine hand-coloured aquatints selling for £210, or about £168,000 today. Thirty sets were purchased by the East India Company alone, with more sold to private buyers.
The views of India executed by the Daniells remain some of the very best topographical works ever produced of the country. Representing the zenith of achievement in aquatint, they are highly prized and collectible works today.
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 Daniells aquatints available, please do contact us.