The Nizam of Hyderabad


The tradition of painted photography was a syncretic visual culture of photography and painting, which began in India in the 19th century, almost at the same time as photography came to India. This genre became extremely popular in the country for two main reasons. One, it brought colour to the relatively quiet world of black and white photographs. Two, it provided employment to the traditional miniature painters of the princely states, particularly in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The process of painting photographs varied, from adding touch-ups on glass negatives, to directly applying colour onto the printed image, to coating the entire surface with a coat of oil paint. An interesting Indian sub-genre was the trend of ‘Manorath paintings’, where paintings of Lord Krishna as Srinathji, complete with altar and priest, were combined with photographic collages of the patrons and painted over. With the painted element an integral part of the overall composition, these photographs hold a distinctive identity within the visual culture of India..

The Nizam of Hyderabad
Photograph attributed to Raja Deen Dayal, Painted by Vernon & Co.
Painted Photograph
172.0 cm x 120.0 cm (full size with frame)150.0 cm x 99.0 cm (sight size)
Accession No.