Travels in India During the Years 1780, 1781, 1782, & 1783

The famed official artist to James Cook’s second voyage, William Hodges first travelled to India in 1780 at the bequest of British East India Company. The first significant British landscape artist to visit the sub-continent, his understated, subtle and eloquent tone contrasts starkly with the prejudices of many other travellers in the Orient at the time. Together with his words, the fourteen stunning engravings based on his own watercolours and sketches, and rendered on the spot, give a fascinating insight into the fabric of an India soon to be swept away under the hegemony of British rule.

William Hodges. Sold by J. Edwards, Pall-Mall, 1793. Layton Collection 12970

  • Assuring his audience that he intends to describe his travels “…without the smallest embellishment from fiction or from fancy”, Hodges proceeds to engage the reader as a man walking a land whilst delighted and surprised at the unfettered pleasure of experiences entirely new and exotic to his senses; encapsulated with his description of the Taj Mahal “…its beautiful forms, the symmetry of the whole … far surpasses anything I ever beheld”.


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