Captain Linnaeus Tripe
Aisle on the South Side of the Puthu Mundapum, from the Western Portico
Madura, India, 1858
33 x 29 cm
British Journal of Photography
‘Tripe, Murray, Bourne: Photographic Journeys in India 1855-1870’ presents a selection of important and rare photographic prints from mid-19th century India. The exhibition explores the development of the revolutionary medium of photography and highlights the beauty with which India was recorded by three early masters in the field.
Tripe, Murray and Bourne each travelled across India in the 1850s and 60s and recorded its architecture and topography with a keen eye for detail and a desire to record a foreign land with a recently invented technology that changed how we see the world forever.
Captain Linnaeus Tripe embarked for India in 1839, the same year that photography was first introduced commercially, right after its invention. A military training, an aesthetic sensibility and the backing of the East India Company, gave him a unique opportunity to document the sights in Southern India like never before. Tripe’s images convey a deep understanding of temple architecture and Hinduism. Through his sensitive eye for pattern, shade and light, the buildings come alive.
Dr. John Murray, who originally worked as a doctor with the Bengal medical service, started experimenting with photography as an amateur when he moved to Agra around 1848, and was inspired by the great Mughal Architecture there. Using the largest camera available at that time, Murray systematically recorded the monuments at Agra, Delhi and Fathehpur Sikri. His images have a scale and quality that draw the viewer into the picture and are the best ever taken of the Taj Mahal and the Pearl Mosque.
Samuel Bourne is known for his images of the landscapes in Kashmir and the Himalayas taken during the 1860s. His ability to capture the ‘picturesque’ is unmatched. Often working in the most challenging circumstances he recorded the soaring peaks and serene lakes, as well as numerous views of towns and cities. His legacy continued with the Bourne and Shepherd studio until late into the 19th century and later.
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