Photo studios

Chamarajendra Wadiyar X, Maharaja of Mysore

Wadiyars served as vassals of the Vijayanagara rulers but as that empire weakened in the 16th century, the they asserted their dominance as independent kings. After the final Anglo-Mysore war ( 1798–99) ended the era of Tipu Sultan, Mysore was returned to the Wadiyars to rule as a subsidiary to the East India Company. Chamarajendra… Read more »

Unidentified Woman, Bombay

This is a studio photograph of an unidentified woman by an unidentified photographer. Early Indian photography was defined by the gaze of the coloniser. So, these images are accompanied by information meant to serve the British administration in tidily cataloguing by community, profession or faith the diverse populations of the Subcontinent. Towards the end of… Read more »

Thakore Sahib of Morvi with Mahendrasingh, Prince of Morvi

This is a studio portrait of Thakur Sahib Maharaja Lakhdirji Waghji and the young Mahendrasingh of Morvi. They represent two generations of the Jadeja Rajputs who ruled the state of Morvi on the Kathiawar peninsula. In 1807, the East India Company declared the state of Morvi a British protectorate, a system by which local rulers… Read more »

Portrait of an Unidentified Woman

This is a studio portrait of an unidentified woman by Lafayette studios. In the late 19th century, a Dubliner called James Stack Lauder changed his surname and the name of the family photo studio to Lafayette. The rebranding was auspicious, and Lafayette Studio became the portrait studio of choice for the Irish aristocracy. In the… Read more »

Shivaji Rao Holkar, Maharaja of Indore

This photograph is of the Maharaja of Indore, Shivaji Rao Holkar (1859-1908). Maharaja Shivaji Rao Holkar was the 13th monarch who took the throne in 1886. On his chest is the medal for the Knights Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India, an honour awarded to Indian princes and chiefs and British… Read more »

Nautch Girls, Bombay

This is a studio portrait of unidentified Natuch girls by Edward Taurines. Edward Taurines was one of the early European photographers to ply his trade in Bombay, and he ran a commercial studio in the city for nearly two decades. Of the presidencies, Bombay was the most active centre for the medium; the Bombay Photographic… Read more »

Rai Bahadur Shankar Rao, Hyderabad

This is a cabinet card print of Rai Bahadur Shankar Rao, Hyderabad by Lala Deen Dayal & Sons. After graduating from the prestigious Thomason College of Civil Engineering, today’s IIT Roorkee, Deen Dayal (1844-1905) landed a government job as a draughtsman in the Public Works Department in Indore. In a field dominated by Europeans, Deen… Read more »

Postcards from Madras

Postcards began at the end of the 19th century as a new kind of crossover between photography and the popular print market. In a collaboration with Picture Postcard Empire, we bring you a virtual exhibition of intriguing postcards from the city of Madras