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Wales, James, 1746 or 1747–1795
James Wales archive, 1786-1797.
Physical Description:
1 linear foot (1 box, 2 volumes)
Rare Books and Manuscripts
MSS 26
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Related Content:
View a description and listing of collection contents in the finding aid
Archives & Manuscripts
The collection is open without restriction.
The present collection of archival material accompanies a collection of two prints and 196 drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings, Yale Center for British Art (B1977.14.22244-22441). The drawings include works by Robert Mabon, Gungaram Chintaman Tambat, William Birch, William Williamson, Boge Raj, and other unknown European and Indian artists, of various subjects in and around the city of Poona, India, and the nearby cave temples of Ellora, dating mostly from 1792 to 1796.
"The self-taught British artist James Wales arrived in Bombay in 1791, and immediately began to work on a series of 'Picturesque Prospects' of the city, for which he hired Robert Mabon, an East India Company soldier and draftsman, as an assistant. He published this project in 1795 as Views of the Island of Bombay and its vicinity. In June of 1792, Charles Warre Malet called Wales to Poona to paint portraits and history paintings, and Mabon accompanied him. Wales, like Forbes and Malet, had an interest in cave temples, and in his journal he describes a proposed publication called 'Indian Antiquities,' which would 'contain every excavated work worthy of attention on the West side of India.' He hired several assistants, both British and Indian, including Mabon and Gangaram Chintaman Tambat, for this project. Unfortunately Wales died from the 'Putrid air' inhaled while sketching the cave temples of Salsette before he could finish 'Indian Antiquities,' and Malet commissioned the artist Thomas Daniell to complete it for publication [as Hindoo excavations in the mountain of Ellora ]."--Holly Shaffer, Adapting the Eye (2011).
Adapting the eye : an archive of the British in India, 1770-1830 / Holly Shafer. New Haven : Yale Center for British Art, 2011.
The collection comprises diaries, notebooks, and other manuscript documents concerning the travels of James Wales in India, with a particular focus on antiquities of Poona and the nearby cave temples of Ellora.
The collection is arranged into four series: I. Diaries; II. Cave descriptions and other notes; III. Drawings; IV. Material related to publications by James Wales.
Subject Terms:
British -- India.
Cave temples -- India.
Caves -- India.
Daniell, Thomas, 1749-1840.
Ellora Caves (India)
Gaṅgārāma, active 18th century.
India -- Description and travel.
Mabon, Robert.
Malet, Charles Warre, 1752-1815.
Mumbai (India) -- Description and travel.
Pune (India) -- Description and travel.
Wales, James, 1746 or 1747-1795.

Adapting the Eye: an archive of the British in India, 1770-1830 (Yale Center for British Art, 2011-10-11 - 2011-12-31) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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