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Unveiling India: The Early Lensmen (1850-1910)


This exhibition of works from the Alkazi collection in New Delhi features a selection of photos and postcards from the 1850s through 1910. It shows how the first photographs of India, whether they were taken by Englishmen like John Murray and Alexander Greenlaw or Indians like Raja Deen Dayal, had a lasting influence on Indian photography.

Indian photography originates in the representation of mythical India through sweeping landscapes and monuments like the Taj Mahal, as in John Murray’s magnificent waxed paper prints from the 1860s. It then quickly spread to the port cities of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta, which saw the opening of studios and amateur photo societies that actively participated in the dissemination of photography throughout India. Modern elements of these cities—train stations, bridges, parks, princely estates, markets—and the diversity of its people became recurring subjects. The images made their way across the world through photo albums, illustrated books, magazines and postcards. On the eve of the First World War, and for the first time ever, India was unveiled to the world outside its borders.

Unveiling India: The Early Lensmen (1850-1910)
Until March, 9th 2014
Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique
Rue de la Régence 3
1000 Bruxelles

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