Jaipur und Amber in the photography of the 19th century - between documentation and the picturesque tradition

18.02.2015 to 06.01.2016
Museum für Asiatische Kunst

With its old chequer-board street-plan, laid out in 1727, the characteristic magnificence and eclecticism of its architecture, and the predominant pink of its facades, the urban landscape of Jaipur has always fascinated travellers and photographers. The topography of Amber, the earlier seat of Jaipur’s ruling family, creates a quite different impression: built on the ridge of a steep hill, it is the epitome of the well-fortified and picturesquely sited Rajput citadel.

Through the photographic lens we see an astonishingly lively picture of the two cities, covering a period of around 30 years at the close of the 19th century.  The rare, vintage prints, selected from the photographic collection of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Museum of Asiatic Art), reveal a documentary intent coloured by the picturesque tradition introduced by the British into the photography of India. Apart from prints by Colin Murray, commissioned by the legendary photographic studio Bourne and Shepherd, most of the exhibition is devoted to photographs from two Indian studios. The first is that of the most famous Indian photographer of the 19th century, Raja Deen Dayal; the second a studio based in Jaipur, Gobindram and Oodeyram, whose photographs include two city panoramas.

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