Painted photography

Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II of Jaipur

Sawai Madho Singh II (1862-1922) was the adoptive son of Ram Singh II, Maharaja of Jaipur. On 30 September 1880, at the age of twenty, he ascended the throne of Jaipur. This is a hand-painted photograph of the Maharaja photographed by Gobindram and Oodeyram, preeminent photographers in Jaipur in the 1880s. The late 19th century… Read more »

The Interview Panel

‘The Interview Panel’ is a typical example of the works of Alexander Gorlizki and Riyaz Uddin; quirky and humorous. Here, the artists have worked over an unidentified painted photograph in miniature style. They toy with and expand the ideas of painted photography and miniature art. The compositions, colours and intricate patterns drawn on these family… Read more »

Gathering on a Family Farm

Quirky and humorous, ‘Gathering of a Family Farm’ is a work of artist Alexander Gorlizki with Riyaz Uddin. Here, the artists have painted over an unidentified family portrait in miniature style. They toy with and expand the ideas of painted photography and family portraiture. The painting makes use of a collage-like technique and at the… Read more »

Now reading: The stories every picture tells

An initiation into the Sarmaya team involves the confrontation of and acclimating to certain books from our library. New ‘uns are told this is necessary reading meant to familiarise them with the genres of the collection. Each object inhabits a world that is resonant and multi-faceted and it’s impossible to know where to start. “Today… Read more »

Early Photography

A 21st-century take on vintage photography techniques like platinum prints, stereoscopic photos and cyanotypes. Plus, an intriguing trail of portraits of Indian women from the Caribbean

Painted Photograph of Maharana Bhupal Singh of Udaipur

In the West, the hand-painting of photographs was limited to adding subtle highlights or making minor corrections. In India, however, the technique took a unique and characteristically vibrant turn. Despite their initial infatuation with the medium, Indian royals soon started to feel something was missing in black-and-white photographs. Something of the grandeur and magnificence of… Read more »

Say Cheese, Your Majesty

It was love at first click for India’s royalty and the 19th century’s most exciting new art form: photography

Prince of Morvi, painted photograph

The tradition of painted photography was a syncretic visual culture that began in India in the 19th century, at almost the same time as photography made its debut here. This genre became extremely popular, particularly in Rajasthan and Gujarat, fuelled partly by a dissatisfaction with black and white photographs and partly by rising unemployment among… Read more »