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  3.5 Interior of Tipu Sultan's Palace  


©Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Interior of Tipu Sultan's Palace, Seringapatam; c1790

Watercolour
48 x 71 cm

Unknown Indian Artist

ipu's Lal Bagh Palace, at the east end of the island, no longer survives. Lady Clive described it as 'very beautiful all over in white and gold,' but Tipu never lived in it after 1792, because it had been inhabited, during the Third Mysore War, by Lord Cornwallis and his British soldiers. At the west end of the island, within the Fort, was another palace. Buchanan was not impressed by this palace, which he described in 1800 as 'a very large building, surrounded by a massive and lofty wall of stone and mud, and outwardly . of a very mean appearance.' Today, only vestiges of it remain, but the charming Darya Daulat palace still stands, with its classical Persian garden and water channels, pigeoncotes and arched entrance. A description of the palace in 1822, by Rev. Hoole, captures the airy elegance of Tipu's architecture: 'This Palace or Banqueting House, now in ruins, was 30 years ago the most superb in this part of India. The walls were plastered with chunam, firm and bearing a polish equal to plaster of Paris. On this white ground, a regular pattern of (the) appearance of rich porcelain and superior to the best paper used for rooms in England. The four principal appartments open with their full width to the court or garden.'

The Indian artist probably depicts here the Lal Bagh Palace, guarded by Tipu's 'tiger' soldiers. The splendid floor carpet was perhaps the 'singular and elegant carpet 27 feet square from Tippoo's Palace' that was included in Phillip's sale of General Carnac's possessions, 6-10 June 1804.


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