The amateur topographical artist Henry Francis Ainslie (1803-79) was born in Edinburgh, the son of General Sir George Robert Ainslie, Bt., who was a numismatist, an MP and former British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at Constantinople, where he acquired a vast collection of antiquities, coins, and works of art. Henry Ainslie joined the British Army’s 83rd Regiment of Foot (later the Royal Ulster Rifles) in 1824. After serving in Ceylon, Canada and the British Isles, he sailed for Bombay with his regiment in February 1849, and between July and November the following year he was stationed in the Pune (Poona) district. This picture depicts his bungalow beside a tank, below Purandhar Hill Fort, Purandhar being the former capital of the Maratha kingdom. Ainslie's drawing style is distinguished by the use of earth colours, strongly outlined in black ink which rendered topographical features into bold simplified forms. While Ainslie’s army training would have included survey drawing, his watercolours, of which the V&A owns twenty-three, were probably painted for his own pleasure rather than as official surveys. From April 1853 Ainslie was on furlough in Europe, retiring on full pay as a lieutenant-colonel in 1855. He died at Westminster, London, on 29 March 1879.