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Landscape paintings and maps in Ireland and India in the 18th century

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Throughout the early modern period and the eighteenth century, the British need to categorise the peoples, concepts and events that they encountered or experienced in their colonies was a primary component of, and contributor to, the expansion of the burgeoning empire. Extending beyond documentary forms of classification, material culture played a significant role in this project. This paper considers the British use of material culture to create banks of knowledge in two distinct colonial settings, Ireland and India, focusing on the production of maps, landscape portraits, and visual commemorations of historical events in the later portion of the eighteenth century. Throughout this period, material culture contributed to the development of specific British attitudes with regards to Ireland and India, while also influencing the administrative and military policies adopted in both areas. Visual representations of the territories provided invaluable tools during this period of expansion, rendering them visible to the public for the first time, thus helping to shape British opinion on Ireland and India.

This talk is part of the Modern Cultural History Workshop series.

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