Collection of drawings and watercolours from the Raffles Family Collection by Unknown Artist

Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) was a famous colonial administrator and founder of Singapore (1819).


Details

Medium:
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions:
Various dimensions
Art Fund grant:
£114,814 ( Total: £386,392; Tax remission)
Acquired in:
2006
Vendor:
Michael Stewart

He was a passionate student of natural history and amassed a great collection of specimens and drawings. Most of these drawings and watercolours were commissioned while Raffles was Governor of Bencoolen (Bengkulu) in Sumatra, to replace an earlier collection lost in a fire at sea in 1824. The natural history subjects make up about three-quarters of the collection and are by anonymous Chinese (and possibly Malay) artists; the miscellaneous drawings include work by British, Dutch, and Asian artists.

Provenance

Commissioned by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles (1824); by descent in the Raffles family to Michael Stewart; India Office Library (on loan since 1969).

Venue details

British Library 96 Euston Road, LONDON London NW1 2DB 020 7412 7332 www.bl.uk

Entry details

50% off with National Art Pass

Main building

Mon – Thu, 9.30am – 8pm

Fri, 9.30am –​6pm (Sat until 5pm)

​Sun, 11am-5pm

Treasures Gallery and PACCAR exhibitions

Tue –Thu, 9.30am-8pm, Mon & Fri until 6pm, Sat until 5pm, Sun 11am – 5pm

Share this article