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  3.32 Descriptive Sketch of the Three Prints of the Storming of Seringapatam  

©The Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh
(National War Museum of Scotland)
Descriptive Sketch of the Three Prints of the Storming of Seringapatam in 1799; c.1802

38.7 x 54.5 cm

Unknown Artist

fter the captivating scenes of the Hostage Princes in 1792, the jubilation which followed the successful Storming of Seringapatam was quickly exploited by artists and printmakers. Subscribers were sought, not only in Britain, but through agents in Madras, Calcutta and Bombay, and prints were dedicated to influential figures in the Mysore campaigns: Baird; Dundas; Richard Wellesley or His most gracious Majesty George III. The prints were often published in sets of four: The Assault and Taking of Seringapatam; 'The Last Effort and Fall of Tipu Sultan; The Body of Tipu Sultan recognised by his Family; The Surrender of the 'Two Sons of Tipu Sultan (to Major General Baird). For the popular market, engravings of the dying Tipu and the surrender of his sons were translated into glass paintings. Orme and Bartolozzi made engravings after Mather Brown's paintings; Grozer, Rogers, Laminet and Cardon after Singleton; Reynolds after Ker Porter, and Cardon and Schiavonetti after Allan. Nor was the market restricted to Great Britain. Schiavonetti's series after Singleton was published in London, but also sold by the Augsburg Akademy, with inscriptions in German and English. Other engravings have both English and French inscriptions.

Following the French links to India, and Seringapatam, there is evidence for the most remarkable demonstration of contemporary French political ideals. A French paper was found in Tipu's Palace in 1799, entitled 'Proceedings of a Jacobin Club formed at Seringapatam by the French Soldiers in the Corps commanded by M.Dompart. ' A Scotsman, Capt W Macleod, attested to its authenticity. The Paper listed by name 59 Frenchmen in the pay of 'Citizen Tippoo'; it described the gathering of a Primary Assembly on 5th May 1797, to elect a President, Francois Ripaud, and other officers. The 'Rights of Man' were proclaimed, and Ripaud presented a lecture on Republican principles. Further deliberations and formalities followed before, on 14th May, the National flag was ceremonially raised and a small delegation were formally received by Tipu. The 'Citizen Prince' ordered a salute of 2,300 cannon, all the musketry and 500 rockets, with a further 500 cannon firing from the Fort. A Tree of Liberty was planted, and crowned with a Cap of Equality, before Ripaud challenged his co-patriots: 'Do you swear hatred to all Kings, except Tippoo Sultaun, the Victorious, the Ally of the French Republic - War against all Tyrants, and love towards your Country and that of Citizen Tippoo.' 'Yes! We swear to live free or die,' they replied.

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