The Storming of Seringapatam (triptych)


A mezzotint engraving produced by John Vendramini, this triptych illustrates three episodes from the final victory of the British over the Mysore state during the 4th Anglo-Mysore War (1798-99).

Spanning nine feet across, it was created after a painting by Sir Robert Ker Porter, one of the first artists to depict this landmark episode in history. The triptych comprises three parts – (left) ‘The last effort of Tippoo Sultan in defence of the fortress of Seringapatam’, (centre) ‘The storming of Seringapatam’, and (right) ‘The glorious conquest of Seringapatam.’

The first part portrays the collapse of the main gate of the fort as English troops break in and advance towards Tipu’s army. The latter reciprocates by charging forward, armed with spears and swords to defend their kingdom. Atop the battlements you can see Tipu himself in a plumed pagdi, holding a spear and fronted by his ever-faithful French commander Chapuy (identified by his headgear) who is shouting orders to soldiers below.

The urgency of war intensifies in the central panel, with more and more soldiers clashing and killing one another, spilling over fort walls and embankments. The action quietens a bit in the third panel, where soldiers can be seen advancing across a branch of the Cauvery while several soldiers lie dead or dying at the foot of the ramparts. A wounded Colonel Dunlop is being helped along by two grenadiers, and in the far-off distance to the right we glimpse the British on horseback.

To read more about this work and about Tipu Sultan, click here

Storming of Seringapatanam (triptych)
Robert Ker Porter
Giovanni Vendramini
 H: 67 cm x W: 271 cm
Accession No.