Photographer: Skeen and Company, William Henry Louis
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph taken in the 1870s by William Henry Louis Skeen & Co. of a sunset seen from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. This view is looking out to sea, with a fishing boat silhouetted on the horizon. The local craft in the area are out-rigger canoes or catamarans which were originally rafts of three or four logs lashed together, their name deriving from the Tamil words 'Kattu' (binding) and 'Maram' (wood). Photography was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 1840s and by the end of the 19th century was practised extensively, both local and foreign artists recording the many facets of the beautiful island. Skeen's firm, set up in Colombo in the1860s, comprised the most famous photographers of the 19th century in Sri Lanka, extensively documenting industry, landscape and racial types and exhibiting at major international exhibitions between 1870-1900.