The Foundation’s collection holds many images representing the development of the embellished image in India through the painted photograph, a genre that marked a significant chapter in the history of Indian photography. A crucial embodiment of the colonial encounter, these images abet the notion of modernism in visual practice at the turn of the 19th century.
The collection comprises of an extensive range of painted portraits in the form of loose prints, albums, cabinet cards and carte-de-visites. These include works from several royal principalities located between north and central India, primarily Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Along with this, it also includes images of commercial photographic studios in Bombay and Calcutta. Ranging from aspects of kingship to modes of art practice, these images highlight a unique facet of the British Raj from the 1860s to the 1940s.