Wednesday, July 14, 2010
A portrait of the Punt Pratinidhi? of Satara, seated with his servants, taken by Hurrichund Chintamon c. 1867,
This photograph was exhibited in the Paris Exhibition of 1867. Punt Pratinidhi was a Brahmin, the priestly caste of the Hindus and the uppermost caste of society. Both British and Indian photographers assisted the archaeological survey. Chintamon was an Indian photographer who made a notable contribution to the book 'The People of India', published by the India Museum in 1868-75. After photography was introduced into India in the 1840s it rapidly grew in popularity, particularly as a means to record the vast diversity of people and their dress, manners, trades, customs and religions. Ethnographical prints were produced by large photographic firms operating in India as well as by smaller or temporary studios to meet European demands for souvenirs from the East. Figures, like those in this image, were often posed to display their characteristic attributes and artefacts. Chintamon set up the first photographic firm in Bombay.