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Historic Images of Sri Lanka

View in the Island of Ceylon

Island of Ceylon, from the Residence of Sir Alexander Johnston

Island of Ceylon, from the Residence of Sir Alexander Johnston #IMG290


View in the Island of Ceylon, from the Residence of Sir Alexander Johnston

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Artist: Fielding, AVC (1787-1855)
Medium: Aquatint, coloured
Date: 1830

This is plate 27 from Robert Melville Grindlay’s ‘Scenery, Costumes and Architecture chiefly on the Western Side of India’. Grindlay (1786-1877) was only 17 when he arrived in India in 1803. He served with the Bombay Native Infantry from 1804 to 1820 and during this period made a large collection of sketches and drawings.

Sir Alexander Johnston was the President of His Majesty’s Council in Ceylon (Sri Lanka). In 1811 he pushed for Royal charters so that natives of the island could sit on juries. This beautiful image was the view from the back verandah of his house. It shows the Lake of Colombo; the ‘Marandahn’, or cinnamon garden; and, in the distance, 6,000 feet above sea-level, Adam’s Peak – a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims from all over Asia. Source: The British Library Board

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