Sepia Toned History – Photographs Of India And Burma From The 1850s - Homegrown

Sepia Toned History – Photographs Of India And Burma From The 1850s

Linnaeus Tripe was an officer in the East India Company army. He joined the iconic trading company back in 1838, became a lieutenant in 1840 and served in South India before returning to England in 1850 due to ill health. He ended up spending four years in his homeland and began dabbling in photography, an interest that would later grant him a special place in history for his vast collection of images of India and Burma, taken in the 1850s.

Tripe then returned to Bangalore in 1854 as a captain in the army and religiously began documenting his travels. He exhibited the first few of his images (68 in total) depicting unseen temples from the Indian heartland at the Madras Exhibition of Raw Products, Arts, and Manufactures of Southern India and was felicitated by the jury. A year later, he embarked upon an official photography trip to neighbouring Burma to document its architecture as well. The voyage yielded the publication of his much talked about Burma Views.

In 1857, Tripe became the official photographer for the Government of Madras, allowing him far more leeway, further allowing him to combine his passion and his work. However, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny and the Revolt of 1857, Tripe was ordered to stop taking photographs. He continued his career in the army and was promoted several times, until he left India in 1875. While many of the photographs depict open landscapes and inspire a sense of calm, it’s worth noting that many of the sites Tripe photographed were in fact at one point or another under seige by British forces.

His photographs are on display at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, and have also been exhibited at the National Gallery of Art, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Library, amongst others.

Below are some of his most memorable photos of India and Burma.

I. Deck of the HMS Impregnable


Deck of HMS Impregnable, 1852-1854. albumen print,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, William and Sarah Walton Fund, Diana and Mallory Walker Fund, and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation through Robert and Joyce Menschel, 2010
Deck of HMS Impregnable, 1852-1854. albumen print,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, William and Sarah Walton Fund, Diana and Mallory Walker Fund, and The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation through Robert and Joyce Menschel, 2010

II. Pugahm Myo- Carved Doorway in courtyard of Shwe Zeegong Pagoda, August 20-24 or October 23, 1855


Pugahm Myo: Carved Doorway in Courtyard of Shwe Zeegong Pagoda, August 20-24 or October 23, 1855,
albumen print,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Diana and Mallory Walker Fund, 2012
Pugahm Myo: Carved Doorway in Courtyard of Shwe Zeegong Pagoda, August 20-24 or October 23, 1855,
albumen print,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Diana and Mallory Walker Fund, 2012

III. Amerapoora- South Ditch of the City Wall, September 1-October 21, 1855


 
Amerapoora: South Ditch of the City Wall, September 1-October 21, 1855, albumen print, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Edward J. Lenkin Fund, 2012

Amerapoora: South Ditch of the City Wall, September 1-October 21, 1855, albumen print, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Edward J. Lenkin Fund, 2012

IV. Amerapoora: Ouk Kyoung, September 1-October 21, 1855


Amerapoora: Ouk Kyoung, September 1-October 21, 1855, albumen print, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Edward J. Lenkin Fund, 2012
Amerapoora: Ouk Kyoung, September 1-October 21, 1855, albumen print, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Edward J. Lenkin Fund, 2012

V. Rangoon: View near the Lake, November 1855


Rangoon: View near the Lake, November 1855,
albumen print,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Diana and Mallory Walker Fund, 2012
Rangoon: View near the Lake, November 1855,
albumen print,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Diana and Mallory Walker Fund, 2012

VI. Amerapoora: Shwe-doung-dyk Pagoda, September 1-October 21, 1855


Amerapoora: Shwe-doung-dyk Pagoda, September 1-October 21, 1855, albumen print, Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach, Directors, and Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2012, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Amerapoora: Shwe-doung-dyk Pagoda, September 1-October 21, 1855, albumen print, Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis A. Roach and Jill Roach, Directors, and Alfred Stieglitz Society Gifts, 2012, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

VII. Seeringham: Great Pagoda, Munduppum inside Gateway, January 1858


Seeringham: Great Pagoda, Munduppum inside Gateway, January 1858, albumen print,
The British Library, London
Seeringham: Great Pagoda, Munduppum inside Gateway, January 1858, albumen print,
The British Library, London

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