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Photograph - Jain temple

Jain temple

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Delhi (photographed)

  • Date:

    1858-1860 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Beato, Felice (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

  • Museum number:

    80119

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This photograph shows a Jain shrine, the Sri Digamber Jain Naya Mandir. Dated to 1807, it is situated between Chandni Chowk (Moonlight Square) and the Jami Masjid (mosque) in Old Delhi. It is one of a number of Jain shrines in this area, which is known as Dharmpura. This piece of land was given to the Jain community by the Emperor Aurangzeb for their services as bankers to the Mughal courts.

The photograph highlights the beautifully carved stonework of the pillars and brackets of the shrine’s façade. There are marble pillars on either side of the doorway and a dome at the top. The 19th-century art historian James Fergusson reproduced a woodcut of this temple to illustrate contemporary Jain architecture in his book on architecture. He, too, commented on the excellent craftsmanship of the carving.

The Italian-born photographer Felice Beato travelled through India documenting the aftermath of the so-called ‘Mutiny' or 1857 uprising of the Indian army. He took photographs of the sites associated with it. He also took more general photographs of the most important monuments of the cities he visited. This is one of them.

Physical description

This is a photograph of the Sri Digamber Jain Naya Mandir situated between Chandni Chowk and the Jami Masjid. Dated to 1807, it is one of a number of Jain shrines in this area. Known an Dharmpura, this area or piece of land was gifted to the Jain community by the Emperor Aurangzeb for their services as bankers to the Mughal courts. The quality of the photograph highlights the beautifully carved stonework of the pillars and brackets of the façade of the shrine. There are marble pillars on either side of the doorway and a dome at the top.

Place of Origin

Delhi (photographed)

Date

1858-1860 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Beato, Felice (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from wet collodion glass negative

Marks and inscriptions

Negative number in bottom right hand side.

Dimensions

Height: 30.6 cm photograph, Width: 24.6 cm photograph, Height: 33 cm mount, Width: 26.7 cm mount

Object history note

The photograph was initially part of the photographic collection held in the National Art Library. The markings on the mount are an indication of the history of the object, its movement through the museum and the way in which it is categorised.
The mount is white with a label in the top right hand corner with the title.

Historical context note

The 19th century art historian, James Fergusson, reproduced a woodcut of this temple in his book on architecture to illustrate Jain architecture of the period. He too commented on the excellent craftsmanship of the carving.

The photographer, Felice Beato travelled thorough India after the ‘Mutiny or 1857 uprising’ of the Indian army and took photographs of the sites associated with it. He also took more general photographs of the most important monuments of the cities he visited, this being one of them.

Descriptive line

Photograph of Jain temple, photographed by Felice Beato, Delhi, 1858-1860

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Masselos, J & Gupta, N. Beato's Delhi 1857, 1997, Delhi, 2000.
History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, James Fergusson, Vol II, 1910, pp66-7 (reproduction of woodcut).

Production Note

Beato was in India from January 1858 to February 1860. It is not clear when he was in Delhi during this period.

Techniques

Wet collodion process

Subjects depicted

Jainism

Categories

Photographs; Architecture; Religion

Collection

South & South East Asia Collection

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