Government house, [Guindy] Madras
Photographer: Fiebig, Frederick
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Government House and Park, Guindy in Madras taken by Frederick Fiebig in 1851. It was the home of successive Governors of Madras from the time of Thomas Saunders in 1752 till Independence when the Governor of Tamilnadu moved to Raj Bhavan. The building was purchased by the East India Company from one Mrs. Antonia de Madeiros in 1753, in what became known as Government Estate, Mount Road. The building was greatly expanded in the last years of the 18th century by Lord Edward Clive, who also built the adjoining Banqueting Hall (now Rajaji Hall) for formal occasions and entertainment. 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.