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Gateway to Hoosainabad

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Lucknow (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1866 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print

  • Museum number:

    53183

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125c, case 2

In 1863 Samuel Bourne gave up his job as a bank clerk and went to India. He became one of the most successful photographers to document the expanding British Empire. Here he shows the ornate 18th-century gateway in Lucknow, known as the Rumi Darwaza (Turkish Gateway). Another British visitor wrote in 1858 that this was the most spectacular cityscape that he had ever seen.

Physical description

Photograph illustrating detailed architecture of the monumental gateway to Hoosainabad (Husainabad). It was built in 1784 and is generally referred to as the Rumi Darwaza. In front local stall holders sell a variety of food and wood.

Place of Origin

Lucknow (made)

Date

ca. 1866 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print

Dimensions

Height: 22.9 cm, Width: 28.7 cm

Historical context note

Samuel Bourne (1834-1912) left his job as a bank clerk in Nottingham to become a professional photographer, and in 1863 sailed to India to develop his new career. He remained there for several years to become recognised as one of the most successful British photographers to document the expanding British empire. His photographs were produced primarily for the European market, and provided a glimpse of India as a distant colonised land and its people. Bourne's photographic success was a combination of his impressive photographic skill and ability to present photographs of India that co-incided with the western, Orientalist vision of the exotic East. In 1870 Bourne took up permanent residency in England and withdrew from photography after establishing a cotton-doubling mill. In 1896 after retiring from business he devoted his time to watercolour painting.

Descriptive line

Photograph by Samuel Bourne of the Gateway to Husainabad, Lucknow, India, about 1866

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

Haworth-Booth, Mark (1984) 'The Golden Age of British Photography 1839-1900: Photography from the Victoria and Albert Museum' Aperture in assoc. with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Taylor, Roger (1980) "Samuel Bourne: Photographic Views in India", Sheffield City Polytechnic, Nottingham.

Labels and date

PHOTOGRAPH: Gateway to the Husainabad Bazaar
1863-1866

In 1863 Samuel Bourne gave up his job as a bank clerk and went to India. He became one of the most successful photographers to document the expanding British Empire. Here he shows the ornate 18th-century gateway in Lucknow, known as the Rumi Darwaza (Turkish Gateway). Another British visitor wrote in 1858 that this was the most spectacular cityscape that he had ever seen.

Albumen print from wet collodion on glass negative
Taken in India by Samuel Bourne (born in Mucklestone, Staffordshire, 1834; died in Nottingham, 1912)

Museum no. 53:183 [8 May 2006]
Object Type
Albumen prints were the first glossy, coated photographic prints. They were in general use from about 1855 to 1890. They were made from thin paper which was first coated with a mixture of whisked egg white and salt, then sensitized with silver nitrate. This print was made from a glass negative.

Subjects Depicted
This view shows the detailed architecture of the town gateway, the Hooseinabad Bazaar in Lucknow, and the stall-holders of the surrounding area.

Ownership & Use
Photographs like this were sold at the time they were made as records of Indian architecture and as topographical views aimed at both libraries and the armchair tourist. Today they are often seen as works of art in their own right.

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Materials

Albumen

Techniques

Albumen process

Subjects depicted

Buildings; Gateways; Architecture; Arches

Categories

Photographs; Architecture; Topography

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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