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The Empire Aggrandized: A Study in Commemorative Portrait Statuary Exported From Britain to Her Colonies in South Asia, 1800 to 1939

By Mary Ann Steggles


This research is the result of an interest which evolved from my MA. thesis, "Evangelical Philosophy as Manifest in late Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Sculpture Commissioned for Madras, South India from Britain between 1790 and 1858" which investigated the marble funerary monuments erected in the Christian churches within the city of Madras. During the time spent conducting research in situ, I became aware of the presence of a number of public commemorative statues dedicated to both the British monarchy and to those individuals who had helped to establish the British Empire on the Indian sub-continent. Upon returning to Canada, initial investigations into the commissioning of these statues yielded little or no information.\ud This thesis is, thus, an attempt to provide as far as possible a complete catalogue of the public commemorative portrait statues executed by sculptors working in Britain which were not only exported to the Indian sub-continent but which were also sent to Malaysia, Myanma, Singapore and Sri Lanka between 1800 and 1939 - the date of the first commission being unveiled on the Indian sub-continent and the date of the last statue being received in India, respectively. The intention is to reveal, for the first time in many instances, the details of the individual sculptors' commissions for these geographical locations remote from Britain in addition to providing information on the patrons. This thesis will also examine the response accorded these statues, both during the time of the British reign or immediately following the granting of independence, in order to determine whether or not there were any acts of iconoclasm directed towards these symbols of colonial dominion.\ud [Taken from the thesis Introduction

Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 1993
OAI identifier:

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