Art: India in Aquatints

In Britain 200 years ago, the thirst for the picturesque was almost as powerful as the thirst for port. Since Queen Elizabeth's day, there had been a lively interest in the "luxuriance of fancy" and "fayr-est workmanshippe" that assumed the Orient to be one vast curio shop. Toward the end of the 18th century, travelers began to bring back reports of more solid architectural wonders to dazzle the imaginations of stay-at-home Britons, and artists started to make sketching trips to China and India to satisfy this curiosity about all things Eastern. Most important of these was an uncle-and-nephew team. Thomas...

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