From the Collection

Image: Untitled | Hand-painted photograph | Swaraj Collection
Tinting of photographs was a well-known Western tradition in the nineteenth century. With the colonial encounter, Indian artists combined their long-practiced art of miniature painting with the newly-developed technique of photography, creating a hybrid form of visual culture. Only a few years after the introduction of photography to India, most photography studios started offering their services to retouch the negatives or photographic prints and to tint photographs. Those studios hired skilled artists who were seeking work after losing patronage as a result of the decline of the princely courts, to add color to the black and white or sepia images.


Text Source: Deepali Dewan, Embellished Reality: Indian Painted Photographs: Towards a Transcultural History of Photography (Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum Press, 2012)

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