The Storming of Seringapatam thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries

The Storming of Seringapatam

Panorama Key
1800 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Panoramas were a popular form of entertainment at the beginning of the 19th century. There was fierce competition among their promoters to achieve the biggest, the most topical or the most realistic. To guide the audience, printed 'keys' or diagrams identifying and explaining the events and personalities depicted were produced and sold. This woodcut print is a typical example.

Subjects Depicted
Patriotic paintings with themes showing British military victories were naturally very popular. The defeat at Seringapatam of Tipu, Sultan of Mysore by General George Harris (1746-1829) in 1799 was no exception, especially since Tipu had unwisely tried to ally himself with the French. France was Britain's main colonial rival in India and her enemy in the Napoleonic wars.

People
Sir Robert Ker Porter (1777-1842) made his name with vast panoramas of topical battles exhibited at the Lyceum in London. The Storming of Seringapatam was a semi-circular painting measuring no less than 120 feet across. He was also commissioned by the British Government as a propaganda artist. In a series of prints and drawings he luridly portrayed the deeds of Napoleon in his Egyptian campaign. Following the success of the panoramas at the Lyceum, in 1804 Alexander I, Tsar of Russia (ruled 1801-1825), appointed Ker Porter as Historical Painter to his court in St Petersburg.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Woodcut and letterpress, ink on paper
Brief Description
Engraving key to a panorama: The Storming of Seringapatam
Physical Description
Key to a panorama
Dimensions
  • Paper height: 34.5cm
  • Paper width: 42.5cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 06/05/1999 by KN Sight size is 36 x 44.
Marks and Inscriptions
The woodcut signed 'Lee sc'
Gallery Label
British Galleries: This is a key to the people and events in a vast semi-circular painted panorama of the storming of Seringapatam, shown at the Lyceum in London. It depicted a famous British victory in India in 1799. The display was visited by the hero celebrated here, General Harris. The painting was less concerned with high art and more with catering for patriotic and imperial sentiments.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Randall Davies, Esq.
Object history
Made by John Lee (active 1794-1804); based on a painting by Sir Robert Ker Porter (born in Durham, 1777, died in St Petersburg, Russia, 1842); published in London
Summary
Object Type
Panoramas were a popular form of entertainment at the beginning of the 19th century. There was fierce competition among their promoters to achieve the biggest, the most topical or the most realistic. To guide the audience, printed 'keys' or diagrams identifying and explaining the events and personalities depicted were produced and sold. This woodcut print is a typical example.

Subjects Depicted
Patriotic paintings with themes showing British military victories were naturally very popular. The defeat at Seringapatam of Tipu, Sultan of Mysore by General George Harris (1746-1829) in 1799 was no exception, especially since Tipu had unwisely tried to ally himself with the French. France was Britain's main colonial rival in India and her enemy in the Napoleonic wars.

People
Sir Robert Ker Porter (1777-1842) made his name with vast panoramas of topical battles exhibited at the Lyceum in London. The Storming of Seringapatam was a semi-circular painting measuring no less than 120 feet across. He was also commissioned by the British Government as a propaganda artist. In a series of prints and drawings he luridly portrayed the deeds of Napoleon in his Egyptian campaign. Following the success of the panoramas at the Lyceum, in 1804 Alexander I, Tsar of Russia (ruled 1801-1825), appointed Ker Porter as Historical Painter to his court in St Petersburg.
Bibliographic Reference
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1926, London: Board of Education, 1927.
Collection
Accession Number
E.572-1926

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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