Tipu Sultan’s mural auctioned at Sotheby’s
Tipu Sultan, is the epitome of Indian resistance to the British imperialism. His mural was auctioned in the world renowned Sotheby;s in London for 630,000 pounds (approx. $830,000). This auction was even mentioned by the BCC.
The mural consists of 10 large sheets mounted on canvas and is believed to be made the early 19th century. It depicts the Battle of Pollilur in 1780, that was part of the Anglo-Mysore Wars that took place in southern India. It celebrates not only Tipu Sultan, who was about 30 at the time, but also his father, Haidar Ali, who was the reigning ruler of Mysore state.
To William Dalrymple, one of the leading British historians of India, the 32 foot-long mural was the greatest Indian picture of the defeat of colonialism that survives.
“It’s arguably the greatest Indian picture of the defeat of colonialism that survives,” the scholar, William Dalrymple, told Sotheby’s, the auction house overseeing the sale. He went on to add that the piece was a unique and fantastic piece of artwork.
It must be mentioned here that Mysore was among the strongest states to emerge when the Mughal Empire collapsed in the 18th century after dominating the Indian subcontinent for about 200 years.
During the decades that Haidar Ali and later Tipu Sultan ruled Mysore state, reports of their attacks on British trading settlements were carried in British newspapers, “embellished by distance as they were carried home by sea,” according to a 2016 biography of Tipu Sultan by historian Kate Brittlebank.
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