The scene of dead splendours - looking across the ancient city of Amber to mountain fortress - India
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of Amber in Rajasthan, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. This is a view of the city of Amber with an Indian figure squatting in foreground. Amber was the ancient capital of the Kachwaha Rajputs from c.1150 until the foundation of Jaipur in 1727. In c.1600 Man Singh (r.1592-1615) created the Jaigarh Fort by renovating an existing fort which stood on the summit of a rocky hill overlooking a strategic pass. This view is taken from the Raj Mahal or Old Palace, overlooking Maota Lake, also built by Man Singh, with later additions by his successors. This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect, which were sold together with a book of descriptions and a map. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.