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Marquess of Cornwallis receiving Hostage of Tipoo Sultan, Oil on Canvas

Marquess of Cornwallis receiving Hostage of Tipoo Sultan, Oil on Canvas
Marquess of Cornwallis receiving Hostage of Tipoo Sultan, Oil on Canvas

Location: Reserve Collection

This oval painting is painted on tin of a tray. The 1931 catalogue by Sir Evan Cotton mentions that this painting was discovered by Her Majesty the Queen in an antique shop in Harrogate in 1935 and presented to the Viceroy’s House. It also states that an identical painting was painted by A. W Devis which was titled as the reception of the hostage princes.

With military tent as the backdrop, Lord Cornwallis dressed in white breeches and military coat is seen receiving the hostage princess of Tipoo Sultan. The foreground lays emphasis on the elaborately dressed sons of Tipoo with their velvet robes flowing backwards. While one son is seen with a bent head towards Cornwallis, the other son is represented with his back towards the onlooker. Their royal ensemble outlines lustrous jewels and rich velvets along with swords held in their hands.

By February 1792, Cornwallis was poised to attack Seringapatnam but a preliminary treaty was concluded between the British and Tipoo Sultan. The surrender of two sons of Tipoo Sultan, Abdal Khaliq and Muiz-ud-din as hostages was outlined in the treaty. It became a popular subject of representation among several British artists such as Robert Home, Mather Brown, Arthur William Devis to name a few.


The research and compilation of the E- Catalogue has been realised by Shri VenuRajamony- Press Secretary to the President of India and Ruchi Kumar- Research Associate.

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