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Drawing - Architectural drawing of Tirumala Nayak at Madura,
  • Architectural drawing of Tirumala Nayak at Madura,
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Architectural drawing of Tirumala Nayak at Madura,

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Madura (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1780 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and Ink

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Many of the British were excited by the Great temple at Madura and it was frequently illustrated. This set of 143 drawings is the most extensive series known of the famous pillared hall ('mandapa') to the east of the Great temple, popularly known as Tirumala Nayak's choultry. These drawings provided detailed architectural descriptions of the pillars, showing various elevations, and betray the hand of an artist trained in the conventions of Dravidian architecture. Some of the drawings relate to, and are on the same scale as, a series of bronze models in the Victoria & Albert Museum (Guy 1990), and in the Ashmolean Museum (Harle and Topsfield, 1987 no. 68). The drawings, and the bronze replicas which show every evidence of having been modelled on the basis of these drawings, are in all probability those which Adam Blackader, resident in Madura in the 1780s, described in a letter of 1789 to his friend Sir Joseph Banks. Blackader records that he spent three years preparing these drawings and models. He had eighteen models made, selected to show the various types of richly-carved pillars. 'These', he wrote, 'were not taken regularly from one end of the choultry but different pillars selected from the whole giving all the principal varieties which occurred in the carvings'. These drawings are very similar to a set prepared at Madura under the supervision of Colin Mackenzie and now in the India Office Library (WD1063/1-57; M. Archer, 1969b, vol. II, pp. 531-2).

Physical description

One of 143 drawings of sculpture and architectural details in the choultry of Tirumala Nayak at Madura. Some drawings inscribed with pencilled notes in Tamil and English with numbers relating to the pillars and their position. The drawings come in two sizes.

Place of Origin

Madura (made)


ca. 1780 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Pen and Ink


Height: 48.5 cm, Width: 30.5 cm, Height: 37.5 cm, Width: 54 cm

Descriptive line

Architectural; Drawings; pen and ink, Tirumala Nayak, Madura, ca. 1780

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Archer, Mildred. Company Paintings Indian Paintings of the British period
Victoria and Albert Museum Indian Series London: Victoria and Albert Museum, Maplin Publishing, 1992, 41-43 p. ISBN 0944142303

Production Note

Probably commissioned by Adam Blackader, resident surgeon in Madura


Pen; Ink




Indian Company Paintings; Paintings


South & South East Asia Collection

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