General Sir David Baird Discovering the Body of Sultan Tippoo Sahib after having Captured Seringapatam, on the 4th May, 1799
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General Sir David Baird Discovering the Body of Sultan Tippoo Sahib after having Captured Seringapatam, on the 4th May, 1799 1839

On Display Scottish National Gallery

  • Scottish Art
This enormous picture was commissioned after Sir David Baird’s death by his wife Lady Baird as a private memorial. It took four years to complete, and for Baird’s posthumous likeness, Wilkie turned to a sculpture by Laurence Macdonald (NG 2719). Baird had been in India with the British Army in 1779, and shortly after his arrival he was taken prisoner by Haidar 'Ali, the Indian ruler of the Mysore Kingdom. Imprisoned for four years, he was only released after the signing of the treaty of Mangalore. Baird remained in the army, returning to India in 1791 to participate in the third phase of the Anglo-Mysore War. Baird avenged himself by defeating Haidar 'Ali’s son, Tippoo Saib, at Seringapatam in 1792. Here, Baird is posed symbolically above the dungeon where he had been imprisoned.

Glossary Open

Anglo-Mysore Wars

The Anglo-Mysore Wars were a series of wars fought in India over the last three decades of the eighteenth century. The wars between the Kingdom of Mysore and the British East India Company lead to the dismantling of Mysore removing the single most powerful barrier to British control of southern India.

Commission

When an individual or organisation employs an artist to execute a particular project, the process and the resulting work are termed a ‘commission’.

Posthumous

After someone's death.

Anglo-Mysore Wars, Commission, Posthumous

Details

  • Acc. No. NG 2430
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 348.50 x 267.90 cm (framed: 398.30 x 322.70 x 20.00 cm)
  • Credit Presented by Irvine Chalmers Watson, received 1985