5 October 1999
The Mountain of Ellora (Abbey 420 nos.102-104; Archer VI, pl.1-3)
hand-coloured aquatint panorama on three sheets, joined, June 1803, on thick paper [watermarked 'J.Whatman 1804'], light surface soiling, light spotting affecting plate margins
overall P.480 x 1860mm.
Thomas and William Daniell never visited Ellora themselves, but Thomas engraved James Wales's engravings after they had been brought back to England by Wales's patron, Sir Charles Warre Malet. Malet had visited the Ellora region in 1793 or 1794 and subsequently encouraged Wales to do the same, which he did in February and March 1795. Thomas Daniell was to base his comments on Malet's article on the region.
The ensemble of rock-cut temples at Ellora stretches along the face of a rocky hill for about a mile and a quarter and includes 17 Brahmanical, 12 Buddhist and 5 Jain caves. The central plate in this panorama shows Kailsa, the Kailasanatha Temple which is dedicated to Shiva and is perhaps the most impressive ensemble of the whole Ellora group. It is approached on the west side through a rock screen pierced by an entrance passage. E.M.Forster wrote of this site: "More amazing than anything in a land where much amazes".
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2 of the rock-cut temples at Ellora
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