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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 3 of 3
St. John's Church, Calcutta

St. John's Church, Calcutta

Captain R. B. Hill

[Tolly's Nullah, Calcutta]

[Tolly's Nullah, Calcutta]

Captain R. B. Hill

[The Earl Canning, Barnes Court, Simla]

[The Earl Canning, Barnes Court, Simla]

Charles John, Viscount and later Earl Canning (1812-1862), assumed his role as governor general of India in 1856 and had the difficult task of dealing with the Indian Mutiny against British rule the following y... more

[The Countess Canning, Calcutta]

[The Countess Canning, Calcutta]

Josiah Rowe (British, ca. 1809–1874)

[The Countess Canning, Calcutta]

[The Countess Canning, Calcutta]

Josiah Rowe (British, ca. 1809–1874)

The Diwan-i Khas from the Mussaman Burj, Agra Palace

The Diwan-i Khas from the Mussaman Burj, Agra Palace

Murray took up photography while serving in Agra as a medical doctor for the East India Company, and in 1857 published an extensive survey of the city. Unwilling to allow the technical limitations of his mediu... more

The Diwan-i Khas from the Mussaman Burj, Agra Palace

The Diwan-i Khas from the Mussaman Burj, Agra Palace

Murray took up photography while serving in Agra as a medical doctor for the East India Company, and in 1857 published an extensive survey of the city. Unwilling to allow the technical limitations of his medium... more

[The Taj Mahal from the Gateway]

[The Taj Mahal from the Gateway]

Of all the photographs Murray made of the Taj, the most impressive are his triptych panoramas, taken from the roof of the entrance gate and looking down and across the formal gardens to the mausoleum beyond. Pe... more

Hunting Trophies

Hunting Trophies

Shikar, or big game hunting, was an immensely popular pastime for the ruling class in India prior to British rule. When the British came into power, elaborate hunting ceremonies were used by Indians and Britis... more

Interor of a Room: "Our Quarters Calcutta"

Interor of a Room: "Our Quarters Calcutta"

Anonymous, British, 19th century

[Ceylonese Group by a Tree]

[Ceylonese Group by a Tree]

Julia Margaret Cameron (British (born India), Calcutta 1815–1879 Kalutara, Ceylon)

Victoria Calcutta Exhibition, 1883–84

Victoria Calcutta Exhibition, 1883–84

Medalist: Alfred Benjamin Wyon (British, 1837–1884)

[Humayun's Tomb, Delhi]

[Humayun's Tomb, Delhi]

Captain R. B. Hill

View in the Jungle, Bengal

View in the Jungle, Bengal

Captain R. B. Hill

Pullah Fisherman

Pullah Fisherman

Unknown (British)

Elephant Group

Elephant Group

The technology for photography arrived in India in the 1840s and 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 the... more

[Four East Indian Men]

[Four East Indian Men]

Francis Frith (British, Chesterfield, Derbyshire 1822–1898 Cannes, France)

Lord Hardinge's Monument, Calcutta
[House at Delhi]
[View of the Jungle, Bengal]
Chancery Lane
Sago Palms

Sago Palms

Unknown

Temple at Allipore

Temple at Allipore

Captain R. B. Hill

Botanical Garden
Elephanta from Water Cave, Coombe Martin Bay, Watermouth

Elephanta from Water Cave, Coombe Martin Bay, Watermouth

Francis Frith (British, Chesterfield, Derbyshire 1822–1898 Cannes, France)

Juggernaut Car, Madras

Juggernaut Car, Madras

Frederick Fiebig (German, active 1840s–50s)

[Ruins at Old Delhi]
View in the Jungle, Bengal

View in the Jungle, Bengal

Captain R. B. Hill

The Great Elephant Saluting

The Great Elephant Saluting

Lala Deen Dayal (Indian, Sardhana 1844–1905)

Fort Agra, The Delhi Gate

Fort Agra, The Delhi Gate

John Murray (British, Blackhouse, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 1809–1898 Sheringham, Norfolk county, England)

The Great Elephant

The Great Elephant

Lala Deen Dayal (Indian, Sardhana 1844–1905)

[Kanpur Memorial]

[Kanpur Memorial]

Captain R. B. Hill