Felice Beato

This Just In

Why do we collect what we do? The inexorable pull of nostalgia. The simple human need to draw closer to beauty. The undeniable thrill of acquisition. All these influence the act of collecting. At our archive, each potential addition to the collection is judged by one other criteria: Can this object expand our understanding of the Indian subcontinent and its inexhaustible vault of stories?

reimagine II

Inside the studios and minds of seven contemporary artists who have interpreted and re-imagined objects from our collection to tell us stories in their unique styles

Whose land is it anyway?

We examine the themes presented in Saju Kunhan’s work as they are represented in our collection of rare 19th-century portraits, war photography, engravings, contemporary art and Warli painting

Hosainabad, Lucknow

The Hussainabad Imambara (Hosainabad, Lucknow), more commonly known as the Chhota Imambara at Lucknow was built between 1837 and 1842 by Nawab Muhammad Ali Shah. The structure was built both to function as a congregation hall for Shia Muslims but also as a mausoleum for the Nawab and his mother. A prominent gilded dome sits… Read more »

Major General Henry Tombs

This albumen photograph is of Sir Henry Tombs (1825-1874) as captured by Felice Beato. Tombs was born on 10th November 1825 in Calcutta, India. His father, Major General John Tombs, was a soldier and commanded the 3rd Bengal Cavalry at the Siege of Bhurtpore from 1824. Sir Henry completed his education and entered the Royal… Read more »

Entrance to the large mosque of Jumma Masjid, Delhi

The Jama Masjid, Delhi was built between 1650 and 1658 by Shah Jahan in Shahjahanabad. The Sanctuary’s main facade consists of five arches on either side of a massive central lawn. It is built in red sandstone with decorations in white and black marble. The minarets have white marble stripes inlaid while the domes feature… Read more »

Sir Robert Montgomery

Sir Robert Montgomery was a British administrator in India. He was appointed to the Indian civil service in 1827 and at the start of the Uprising of India, he disarmed the native garrisons in Lahore. He was awarded with a knighthood for this action. After the quelling of the Uprising, Montgomery served as Chief Commissioner… Read more »

Major General Henry Tombs

Sir Henry Tombs was gazetted to the Bengal Artillery as a Second Lieutenant and served in the First and Second Anglo-Sikh wars, as well as the Uprising of 1857. More about the Uprising here and fascinating insights from the frontlines and on the ground by Prof. Rudrangshu Mukherjee here. Felice Beato was a European photographer renowned… Read more »

Cashmere Gate by Felice Beato

The Sarmaya collection holds an extensive range of Felice Beato’s work depicting the aftermath of the Uprising of 1857 in places like Delhi, Lucknow and Kanpur, which bore the brunt of the violence. The devastation of Kashmere Gate in Delhi was one of the landmark moments that marked the beginning of the revolution’s end. Felice… Read more »