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Güzel Hisar and the River Maeander, from the East

ca. 1751 (painted)
Place of origin

Watercolour drawing

Object details
Object type
Materials and techniques
Ink and watercolour on laid paper mounted on modern wove paper and stuck down on board
Brief description
Watercolour, Güzel Hisar and the River Maeander, from the East, about 1751, by Giovanni Battista Borra
Physical description
Watercolour drawing
  • Height: 42.3cm
  • Width: 66.6cm
Credit line
Purchased with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, Shell International and the Friends of the V&A
Object history
According to Rodney Searight: - `The two [SD121 & 122] drwgs bt fr W.T.Spencer,Dec.1966 £85'.
Historical context
Part of this watercolour is based on a sketch by Borra inscribed Magnesia verso est (Hellenic Society, small sketchbook, item 15 in the Wood Collection, [pp.42 verso & 43 recto]). The party was at Güzel Hisar (now called Aydin) on 15-22 September 1750, and, according to the official diary of the expedition on 17 September, `we ascended the Hill on the Eastern side of this River, to take a view of the Town, Plain etc.' They believed the town to be the site of Magnesia ad Maeander but it is in fact ancient Tralles, a ruin from which can be seen up the hill to the right. See Hutton, 1927, pp.116-7 and Searight Archive.
Places depicted
Bibliographic reference
Searight, Rodney. The Middle East : watercolours and drawings by British and foreign artists and travellers, 1750-1900, from the collection of Rodney Searight, Esq. London, 1971
Accession number

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Record createdOctober 4, 2007
Record URL
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