Thomas Daniell - Encyclopedia




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THOMAS DANIELL (1749-1840), English landscape painter, was born at the Chertsey inn, kept by his father, in 1749, and apprenticed to an heraldic painter. Daniell, however, was animated with a love of the romantic and beautiful in architecture and nature. Up to 1784 he painted topographical subjects and flower pieces. By this time his two nephews (see below) had come under his influence, the younger, Samuel, being apprenticed to Medland the landscape engraver, and the elder, William, being under his own care. In this year (1784) he embarked for India accompanied by William, and found at Calcutta ample encouragement. Here he remained ten years, and on returning to London he published his largest work, Oriental Scenery, in six large volumes, not completed till 1808. From 1795 till 1828 he continued to exhibit Eastern subjects, temples, jungle hunts, &c., and at the same time continued the publication of illustrated works. These are - Views of Calcutta; Oriental Scenery, 144 plates; Views in Egypt; Excavations at Ellora; Picturesque Voyage to China. These were for the most part executed in aquatint. He was elected an Academician in 1799, fellow of the Royal Society about the same time, and at different times member of several minor societies. His nephews both died before him; his Indian period had made him independent, and he lived a bachelor life in much respect at Kensington till his death on the 19th of March 1840.

William Daniell (1769-1837), his nephew, was fourteen when he accompanied his uncle to India. His own publications, engraved in aquatint, were - Voyage to India; Zoography; Animated Nature; Views of London; Views of Bootan, a work prepared from his uncle's sketches; and a Voyage Round Great Britain, which occupied him several years. The British Institution made him an award of £ioo for a "Battle of Trafalgar," and he was elected R.A. in 1822. He turned to panorama painting before his death, beginning in 1832 with Madras, the picture being enlivened by a representation of the Hindu mode of taming wild elephants.

SAMUEL DANIELL, William's younger brother, was brought up as an engraver, and first appears as an exhibitor in 1792. A.few years later he went to the Cape and travelled into the interior of Africa, with his sketching materials in his haversack. The drawings he made there were published, after his return, in his African Scenery. He did not rest long at home, but left for Ceylon in 1806, where he spent the remaining years of his life, publishing The Scenery, Animals and Natives of Ceylon.

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