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HODGES, William.

Select Views in India, drawn on the Spot, in the Years 1780, 1781, 1782, and 1783, and Executed in Aqua Tinta.

Stock Code
96175
London, William Hodges, 1785
£19,500

First edition. A landmark in topographical book illustration, the first of the great view books of India.

'Probably but not certainly' (Abbey) the first issue with fewer text leaves than the later issue, and without the publisher's imprint and uncoloured.

Contains the first substantial series of aquatint views of India, including the first printed depiction of the Taj Mahal (shown in the background of plate 16 'A View of the Fort of Agra').

Following the increasing affluence of life in the cities as the Presidencies of Madras, Bombay, and Bengal developed during the eighteenth century, British portrait artists were attracted to India by the prospect of patronage, amongst these were John Zoffany, Tilly Kettle, and Ozias Humphrey.

It was not until 1780, however, that the first person to practice professionally as a landscape artist came to India, namely William Hodges, formerly the official artist on Captain Cook's second voyage to the South Seas,

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Description

2 volumes, folio (59.5 x 47.5 cm). Title and text in English and French. 1 engraved map, 48 aquatint plates by and after William Hodges, contemporary red morocco gilt, neat repairs to extremities, a most handsome example.

Bibliography

Abbey Travel 416; Tooley 263.

Stock ID:96175

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