DANIELL, William (engraver). - after Captain Robert SMITH
[Malaysia] View from Strawberry Hill, Prince of Wale's Island
London: published by William Daniell, January 1st 1821 [watermark 1820]. Hand-coloured aquatint engraving by Daniell. In good condition apart from some expertly repaired marginal tears. Sheet size: 22 3/4 x 34 3/8 inches.
A fine and rare view of "one of the loveliest spots in the Eastern world": the former British colony on the island of Penang, now part of Malaysia.
Plate 3 from Daniell's Panoramic Sketch of Prince of Wale's Island,
The settlement of Penang, off the north west coast of Malaysia in the Strait of Malacca, was formed by the East India Company in 1786. The British flag was raised there on August 11, 1786 by Captain Francis Light of the Indian merchant service. Light had married the King of Quedah's daughter, and the island was given as her dowry. The island is about 16 miles long and about 8 miles wide with a spine of mountains running east to west. The climate, though tropical, is relatively cool, which is why in 1856 it was described in a world gazetteer as being "one of the loveliest spots in the Eastern world."
William Daniell (1769-1837), nephew of Thomas Daniell, R.A., is best known for his views of eastern scenery. "In 1784 he accompanied his uncle to India, and there helped him with drawings and sketches. On their return in 1794 he worked upon their important publication, 'Oriental Scenery.' Between 1795 and 1838 he exhibited as many as 168 pictures at the Royal Academy and 64 at the British Institute. His earlier exhibits were Indian views, but from 1802 to 1807 he sent many views of the north of England and of Scotland. He published 'A Picturesque Voyage to India,' 'Zoography,' in conjunction with William Wood, F.S.A., 'Animated Nature,' 1807, 'Views of London,' 1812, and 'Views of Bhootan,' 1813, from drawings by Samuel Davis, of the East India Company's service, who visited Bhutan in 1783. In 1814 Daniell began 'A Voyage round Great Britain'; this was published in four volumes in 1825… He painted, together with Mr. E. T. Parris, a 'Panorama of Madras,' and afterwards, unaided, another of 'The City of Lucknow and the mode of Taming Wild Elephants.' He became a student of the Royal Academy in 1799, in 1807 was elected associate, and in 1822 a full member of that body." (DNB)
Abbey Travel, II, 525, no. 3.