British photographic history

Information and discussion on all aspects of British photographic history

Book: Raja Deen Dayal: Artist-Photographer in 19th Century India

During his lifetime, the path-breaking and prolific lensman Raja Deen Dayal (1884 1844-1905) was one of the most widely recognized photographers from the Indian subcontinent. Today he remains among the most celebrated figures from this earlier era. This book brings together for the first time extensive archival research with close analysis of the significant body of Dayal s work preserved in the Alkazi Collection of Photography. Over the course of his remarkable career, Dayal opened studios in Indore, Secunderabad, and Bombay, employing over fifty staff photographers and assistants. Together, they produced more than 30,000 images of architecture, landscape, and people that have played a central role in how India's past has been visualized. This volume explores varied topics, from Dayal's public works, state visit, and hunting photographs to his images chronicling India's elite and growing middle classes. In this way, he lays the groundwork needed to rethink the history and practice of photography in India: as a commercial business, as an engagement with new technology, and as an aesthetic enterprise.
Trained as a draughtsman, Dayal rose quickly through the ranks as a Surveyor with the Public Works Department of the Central India Agency in Indore. He began photographing in the mid 1870s, becoming a master in the delicate art of developing glass plate negatives and albumen prints and producing what are still some of the most stunning views of the architecture and landscape of northern India. Ever the consummate businessman, Dayal soon counted the elite of British and Indian society amongst his clients. Eventually, he was appointed court photographer to the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, and the studio became the first Indian firm to receive the Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria. Dayal's career testifies to photography's paramount role in the overlapping arenas of the Princely states, British Raj, and the emerging cosmopolitan centers of nineteenth-century India.

You can pick up a copy using the Amazon link on the right.

Views: 325

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of British photographic history to add comments!

Join British photographic history

Comment by Michael Wong on July 12, 2013 at 23:31

Well spotted, John! Meant to be 1844 and corrected. I blame it on the hot weather we are experiencing in the UK!

Comment by John Toohey on July 12, 2013 at 21:49

Really small point here but can the dates 1884 to 1905 be right?

Comment by Steven Evans on July 11, 2013 at 21:18
A great resource on Dayal and his studio. The essays are readable and thorough, and the illustrations are superb.

© 2019   Created by Michael Pritchard.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service