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Battle of Pollilur

Context:

Known to be a patron of art, Tipu Sultan commissioned numerous significant paintings. Several of these have come into the limelight in recent years, fetching astronomical sums at auctions. Another work from his treasury will be auctioned at the Sotheby’s “Arts of the Islamic World & India” auction.

  • Titled ‘The Battle of Pollilur’, the work described by historian William Dalrymple as “one of the great masterpieces of the period” is expected to fetch between £5,00,000 and £8,00,000.
Relevance

GS I- Modern Indian History, Important Personalities

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What is the significance of the painting?
  2. Battle of Pollilur
  3. About Tipu Sultan

What is the significance of the painting?

  • The work was commissioned by Tipu Sultan, the last ruler of Mysore, as part of a large mural for the newly built Daria Daulat Bagh in Seringapatam in 1784.
  • Only three such paintings are known to exist.
  • One of them, sold at a Sotheby’s auction in 2010 for £769,250, was reportedly heavily restored, unlike the work on auction now.
  • The work to come under the hammer now is part of a private collection in the UK, and has been displayed at numerous exhibitions, including a 1990 exhibition in London and a 1999 exhibition in Edinburgh.

Battle of Pollilur

  • The Battle of Pollilur took place during the Second Anglo-Mysore War, which engaged English forces against the Kingdom of Mysore, which was led by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan.
  • The battle took place in Pollilur, near Kanchipuram in modern-day Tamil Nadu.
  • General Sir Eyre Coote led the British company forces (who is famous for his role in the decisive English victory at the Battle of Wandiwash).
  •  A battle between the English and the Mysorean armies took place in Pollilur in September 1780. Hyder Ali had just conquered the English at the time.
  • The English, on the other hand, were victors in the battle of 1781, though it was not decisive. In fact, the English referred to it as a “dubious victory.”
  • The company’s forces were split into two lines, one facing Hyder Ali’s men and the other Tipu Sultan.
  • Hyder Ali’s men suffered heavy losses and were forced to flee to Kanchipuram.
  • Following the battle, Coote’s forces ran out of provisions and were forced to retreat to Tripassore. This was interpreted by Hyder Ali as a retreat, but he also declared victory.
  • The Treaty of Mangalore concluded the Second Anglo-Mysore War in a stalemate. Both parties promised to restore conquered areas and captives under the terms of the Treaty of Mangalore.

About Tipu Sultan

  • The Kingdom of Mysore was ruled by Tipu Sultan.
  • He was Haidar Ali’s son and a strong warrior, also known as the Tiger of Mysore, and was born in November 1750.
  • Tipu was a great lover of democracy and a great diplomat, and he supported the French soldiers at Seringapatam in setting up a Jacobin Club in 179.
  • He built his army on the European model, with Persian words of command, and he was fully aware of the naval might; he planted the Tree of Liberty at Seringapatam.
  • In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War, he was defeated and died on May 4, 1799, in Srirangapatna, Karnataka’s present-day Mandya district.

-Source: Indian Express

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