[European] Cemetry, Madras
Photographer: Fiebig, Frederick
Medium: Photographic print
A hand-coloured salt print, this photograph of an unidentified cemetry in Madras was taken by Frederick Fiebig in c.1851. Madras was founded in 1639 by the British East India Company and became the first important English settlement in India. The city contains several colonial churches. These include St. Andrew’s Kirk (1818-21), the Cathedral Church of St George (1814-16), and St Mary’s Church in Fort St George. Begun in 1678 and consecrated in 1680, St Mary’s is the oldest surviving Anglican church in the East. 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.