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  • Bourne Shepherd, Bathing Ghat on the Hoogly, Calcutta
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  • John Murray, View of the Taj Mahal from the river bank

Unveiling India The early lensmen (1850-1910)


06.12.2013 > 09.03.2014

Royal Museums of Fine Arts
Rue de la Régence 3
B-1000 Brussel

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The exhibition will look at the first photography in India and its commercial followers, with a superb selection of negatives and vintage prints, shown for the first time in Europe. The first part of the show will be dedicated to the original wax negatives by Alexander Greenlaw; unique shots of the South-Indian Vijayanagara site, taken around 1855-1856. Around the same period, Scottish doctor John Murray was based near Agra with his regiment of the British East India Company. Murray’s predilection for the photographic medium resulted in an astonishing series of photos of the Taj Mahal; the first ever made of the iconic Mughal monument. The third part will show how commercial photography took over from the first pioneers. Publications and postcards start to spread photos of India’s architectural monuments, landscapes and cities.

Curators: Rahaab Allana, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts (New Delhi), Davy Depelchin

Organisation: Alkazi Collection of Photography, ICCR, MRBA / KMSK, Europalia International