Mumbai

Crucifixion

This drawing delineates the Biblical tragedy of the crucifixion of Christ. This is one of many compositions of the crucifixion done by the modern artist Francis Newton Souza. FN Souza, a founding member of the Progressive Artists Group (PAG Mumbai, 1947), in many ways shaped the Modern Art movement in India. He explored subjects like… Read more »

Mahars

This photograph, captioned ‘Mahars,’ was captured by William Johnson. The Mahar caste traditionally belonged to the lowest caste in the Hindu caste system in the Bombay presidency. This image initially formed a part of William Johnson’s ‘Photographs of Western India’ (1855-1862) and reappeared in his later publication ‘The Oriental Races and Tribes, Residents and Visitors… Read more »

Karnatika Brahmans

This photograph was captured by William Johnson and is captioned ‘Karnatika Brahmins’. Karnataka Brahmins belonged to Belgaum, Dharwar, and other Northern Karnataka region of the Bombay Presidency. This image initially formed a part of William Johnson’s ‘Photographs of Western India’ (1855-1862) and reappeared in his later publication ‘The Oriental Races and Tribes, Residents and Visitors… Read more »

Fisherwomen of Bombay

This photograph was captured by William Johnson and is captioned ‘Fisherwomen of Bombay’. The Kolis are considered to be the oldest inhabitants of the Bombay island. Today, traces of their original dwellings are found as hamlets, ‘gaontans’, colonies and ‘wadas’ around Mahim, Sion, Worli, Colaba, etc. This image initially formed a part of William Johnson’s… Read more »

Cotton Merchants, Bombay

Following the Uprising of 1857, the British started to use photography to gather data on races, castes and communities to better understand the ethnic diversity of the subcontinent. This photograph is from ‘The Photographs of Western India’ (Vol.1), 1855-1852, one of the earliest photographic compendiums to be produced on ethnographic portraiture, taken by William Johnson… Read more »

Mumbai Unfiltered

Discover the city of Mumbai from these unique and unexpected perspectives brought to you by 20 Instagram handles. From window art to the fishermen’s lives, these photographers will make you appreciate this bustling city in a whole new way.

View of the Watson’s Hotel or Esplanade Mansion, Bombay

The Watson’s Hotel, earlier the Esplanade Hotel, is the oldest surviving cast-iron structure in India. It was named after its first owner,  John Watson, an English businessman in Bombay. The original cast iron objects were designed by the engineer Rowland Mason Ordish, who constructed the various parts in Britain and shipped to India. The construction… Read more »

Elephanta

This Johnson and Henderson image shows the outer facade of one fo the caves at the Elephanta Cave Complex in Maharashtra. The primary entrance to the gateway is guarded by two seated stone liones, while military men in unifrom and two kids pose on the steps.

Scenery, Costumes and Architecture, Western India

Robert M. Grindlay served the British East India Company from 1804-1820, in India. A self-taught amateur artist, he made many sketches and illustrations recording the landscape and life of early 19th century India. These illustrations were later published and copied in engravings. This book is such a collection of coloured engravings. The topics in the… Read more »