Portrait of an unidentified Indian woman.
Photographer: Narayen, Shivashanker
Medium: Photographic print
A studio portrait of an unidentified Indian woman, taken by Shivashanker Narayen in the 1860s, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. In the 1860s the Government of India instigated a large project for compiling photographs of the people and monuments of India. Both Indian and British photographers contributed to this archaeological survey; Shivashanker Narayen was one of the Indian photographers whose assistance was invaluble. During the late 19th century in Europe there was growing interest in ethnography. Photographers found that the sub-continent offered limitless opportunities to record a vast diversity of people and their dress, manners, trades, customs and religions. Ethnographical prints were produced by large photographic firms operating in India as well as by smaller or temporary studios. Narayen established a photographic business in the premises of the J.J.School of Arts in Mumbai.