Botanical Garden, Madras
Photographer: Fiebig, Frederick
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of botanical gardens at Madras, taken by Frederick Fiebig in c.1851. The photograph is a hand-coloured salt print. The botanical or horticultural gardens were founded in 1836. They occupied a site of 8.9 hectares (22 acres) to the south of the Cooum river, near St George’s Cathedral. This is a view of a thatched bungalow or summerhouse with trelliswork in the grounds. Little seems to be known about Frederick Fiebig. He was probably born in Germany and became a lithographer (and possibly was also a piano teacher) in Calcutta, publishing a number of prints in the 1840s. In the late 1840s Fiebig turned to photography using the calotype process, producing prints that were often hand-coloured. His photographs includes several hundred views of Calcutta in the early 1850s, one of the earliest detailed studies of a city, a large hand coloured collection of which were bought by the East India Company in 1856, their first major acquisition of photographs. Among the roughly 500 pictures were views of Calcutta, Madras, Sri Lanka, Mauritius and Cape Town.