Scholar with book, Eastern Bengal.
Medium: Photographic print
Three-quarter length portrait against a plain background of the bespectacled figure of a Muslim scholar posed with a book by an unknown photographer and taken in the early 1860s. In the nineteenth century the British Government sought to acquire information about the diverse races, customs, costumes and occupations of the sub-continent. The rising science of ethnology created a demand among European audiences for ‘exotic’ souvenirs of the East. This print is from a collection which features groups and individuals from across Eastern Bengal (modern Bangladesh and Assam). The photographs were taken in and around the same temporary studio built onto the side of a European house.