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Colonial India

With the invention of photography, the eighteenth-century British passion for recording exotic lands and studies of the peoples in India was given new impetus. The earliest photography on the continent dates from 1840 in Calcutta, the political center of British India. The technology for photography arrived in India quickly became popular among the local rulers-many of whom employed photographers at their courts-as well as the British who had come to make their fortunes in the colony. For both populations, the new medium replaced painting as the method for recording the local landscape, architecture, people, and important events.
[The Earl Canning, Barnes Court, Simla]
1841
1841
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1883
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1883
252 Media in collectionpage 1 of 3
The China Medal of 1842, granted by the Government of India

The China Medal of 1842, granted by the Government of India

Medalist: William Wyon (British, Birmingham 1795–1851 Brighton)

St. Andrews. Madras College

St. Andrews. Madras College

Hill and Adamson (British, active 1843–1848)

[Women Grinding Paint, Calcutta]

[Women Grinding Paint, Calcutta]

With the invention of photography, the eighteenth-century British passion for recording exotic flora and fauna and for making ethnological studies of the peoples in India was given new impetus. The earliest pho... more

Another Impossible Task

Another Impossible Task

Chevalier Dubois de Nehaut represents a type of amateur photographer of the 1850s whose work exemplifies some of the most striking technical and aesthetic advances achieved by the medium in its second decade. A... more

Rangoon: Henzas on the East Side of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda

Rangoon: Henzas on the East Side of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda

Taken from the wide platform on which the Shwe Dagon Pagoda rested, this photograph shows four wooden posts topped with carvings of birds that constituted pious offerings. Burmese art featured various birds, in... more

Amerapoora, Barracks of the Burmese Guard

Amerapoora, Barracks of the Burmese Guard

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

Pugahm Myo: Distant View of Gauda-palen Pagoda

Pugahm Myo: Distant View of Gauda-palen Pagoda

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

No. 7. Ye-nan-gyoung. Pagoda and Kyoung.

No. 7. Ye-nan-gyoung. Pagoda and Kyoung.

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

Tsagain Myo: Litters under a shed.

Tsagain Myo: Litters under a shed.

Litters, or palanquins, were used to transport members of the royal family or important monks. Their size, shape, and manner of decoration varied according to the status of the occupant. Tripe’s photograph of t... more

Amerapoora: Corner of Mygabhoodee-tee Kyoung

Amerapoora: Corner of Mygabhoodee-tee Kyoung

Tripe took four photographs of this wooden monastery (kyoung) south of Amerapoora. He noted that the building "attracted much attention from the richness of its carving and the beauty of its situation," surroun... more

Pugahm Myo: Thapinyu Pagoda

Pugahm Myo: Thapinyu Pagoda

Here the Thapinyu Pagoda, the tallest structure at Pugahm Myo, rises toward a cloudy sky. Because early negatives were overly sensitive to blue, clouds were difficult to photograph. To evoke them and other atmo... more

Amerapoora: Shwe-doung-dyk Pagoda

Amerapoora: Shwe-doung-dyk Pagoda

Tripe retouched most of his negatives made in Burma and India. Here he painted the banks of clouds on the negative and even added horizontal strokes in the foreground to suggest ripples on the water, possibly t... more

No. 1. Prome. General View.

No. 1. Prome. General View.

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

Tsagain Myo: A Roadway

Tsagain Myo: A Roadway

This view of rustic dwellings nestled among towering trees along a dusty road departs from Tripe’s more strictly topographical compositions, illustrating his statement, "The Picturesque may be allowed perhaps, ... more

Amerapoora, Palace of the White Elephant

Amerapoora, Palace of the White Elephant

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

Amerapoora: Wooden Bridge

Amerapoora: Wooden Bridge

With a surveyor’s eye, Tripe took this dramatic view looking across the three-quarter-mile bridge that led to the British residency on the other side of the lagoon. To highlight the scale of the massive teak pi... more

Amerapoora: Part of Balcony on the South Side of Maha-oung-meeay-liy-mhan Kyoung

Amerapoora: Part of Balcony on the South Side of Maha-oung-meeay-liy-m...

Fierce horse-headed ogres support the balcony wall of this monastery building, with small seated devas, or minor deities, within the gilded floral ornament. This elaborately carved wooden balcony, part of a com... more

[Gunpowder Agents Bungalow, Ishapoor.]

[Gunpowder Agents Bungalow, Ishapoor.]

John Constantine Stanley (British, 1837–1878)

The Outer Prakarum, or Corridor Around the Temple of the God Sundareshawara

The Outer Prakarum, or Corridor Around the Temple of the God Sundaresh...

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

Pillars in the Recessed Portico in the Roya Gopuram with the Base of One of the Four Sculptured Monoliths, Madura

Pillars in the Recessed Portico in the Roya Gopuram with the Base of O...

Tripe was a career military officer in India and Government Photographer to the Madras Presidency in the late 1850s. In early 1858 he made an ambitious and difficult tour of India's southern districts in order ... more

The Causeway Across the Vaigai River

The Causeway Across the Vaigai River

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

The Western Gopuram

The Western Gopuram

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

[Mrs Bayley, Lucknow]
Town Hall, Calcutta

Town Hall, Calcutta

Captain R. B. Hill

[Botanical Gardens, Calcutta]
[View in Calcutta]
Madura. The Great Pagoda Jewels.

Madura. The Great Pagoda Jewels.

Linneaus Tripe enlisted in the army of the East India Company at the age of seventeen. While in England on furlough in 1851 and 1853, he purchased cameras and photographic apparatus. The views he made of ancien... more

Suttee Ghat, Cawnpore

Suttee Ghat, Cawnpore

This photograph memorializes the site of the most shocking event of the Indian Mutiny. Choosing the safety of civilians over honor in battle, a besieged English detachment at Cawnpore (Kanpur) surrendered to re... more

[The Taj Mahal from the Banks of the Yamuna River]

[The Taj Mahal from the Banks of the Yamuna River]

The Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, between 1632 and 1645 is among the most beautiful buildings in the world. Perhaps the finest example of late Indian Muslim ... more

[Countess Canning with Guests, Government House, Allahabad]

[Countess Canning with Guests, Government House, Allahabad]

John Constantine Stanley (British, 1837–1878)

Elliot Marbles and Other Sculpture from the Central Museum Madras: Group 26

Elliot Marbles and Other Sculpture from the Central Museum Madras: Gro...

In 1853 the newly founded Government Central Museum in Madras acquired a collection of notable marble sculptures that the Scottish Orientalist Walter Elliot had excavated from the Buddhist stupa at Amaravati in... more

View of the Sacred Tank in the Great Pagoda

View of the Sacred Tank in the Great Pagoda

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

[Government House, Allahabad]

[Government House, Allahabad]

John Constantine Stanley (British, 1837–1878)

Tatta Suddhi Mundapam

Tatta Suddhi Mundapam

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

[The Maidan from Government House During the Rains]

[The Maidan from Government House During the Rains]

John Constantine Stanley (British, 1837–1878)

The Teppa-kulam

The Teppa-kulam

Tripe was a career military officer in India and, in the late 1850s, government photographer to the Madras Presidency. In just five years he made nearly one thousand views of India and Burma. In this view of a... more

The Great Pagoda

The Great Pagoda

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

The Walnut Tree of Emperor Charles V, Yuste

The Walnut Tree of Emperor Charles V, Yuste

In May 1858, Clifford accompanied the Duke of Frías on a trip to Toledo and Extremadura. One of the principal goals of the excursion was the remote town of Yuste, where the king of Spain, Charles I (better know... more

The Jewels of the Pagoda

The Jewels of the Pagoda

Tripe was a career military officer in India and, in the late 1850s, Government Photographer to the Madras Presidency. In just five years he made nearly one thousand views of India and Burma. Between December 1... more

[My Arab "Antelope"]
The Raya Gopuram from E.

The Raya Gopuram from E.

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

[My Pegu Pony]
The Raya Gopuram from W

The Raya Gopuram from W

Linnaeus Tripe (British, Devonport (Plymouth Dock) 1822–1902 Devonport)

Prinsep's Ghat, Calcutta

Prinsep's Ghat, Calcutta

Captain R. B. Hill

[Government House,Calcutta]

[Government House,Calcutta]

Captain R. B. Hill

[The St. Pauls Cathedral, Calcutta]
[Ochterlony Monument, Calcutta]
[Botanical Gardens, Calcutta]
Outram Institute, Calcutta

Outram Institute, Calcutta

Captain R. B. Hill

Virabadra Drug as seen from near the site of the last view

Virabadra Drug as seen from near the site of the last view

Tripe was a career military officer in India and government photographer to the Madras Presidency in the late 1850s. Between December 1857 and April 1858 he made an ambitious and difficult tour of India's south... more

Asile Impériale de Vincennes, la pharmacie

Asile Impériale de Vincennes, la pharmacie

Charles Nègre (French, 1820–1880)

[Lady Canning]

[Lady Canning]

Jean Baptiste Oscar Mallitte (French, 1829–1905)

Scotch Kirk, Calcutta

Scotch Kirk, Calcutta

Captain R. B. Hill

The Bishop's Palace, Calcutta
Orphan School, Calcutta

Orphan School, Calcutta

Captain R. B. Hill

Town Hall, Calcutta