Felice Beato Photograph Album - "Photographs of Delhi"

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At A Glance

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  • Creator

    Beato, Felice, b. ca. 1825
  • Dates

    circa 1858
  • Physical Description

    35 Items (albumen prints mouned into album (2.5 linear ft.), black and white)
  • Collection ID


  • Scope and Contents

    35 albumen prints by Felice Beato, mounted into album format with captions, entitled "Photographs of Delhi and c.," depicting views of the Indian Mutiny near Delhi, India, ca. 1858. The photographs are an important record of buildings in Delhi which were subsequently destroyed by the British.
  • Biographical / Historical

    Felice Beato (born 1833 or 1834, died c. 1907), sometimes known as Felix Beato, was a Corfiote photographer. At the time of his birth, Corfu was part of the British protectorate of the Ionian Islands, and so Beato would have qualified as a British subject. Corfu had previously been a Venetian possession, and this fact goes some way to explaining the many references to Beato as "Italian" and "Venetian" member of the Corfiot Italians. The Beato family is recorded as having moved to Corfu in the 17th century and was one of the noble Venetian families that ruled the island during the Republic of Venice.
    Beato was one of the first photographers to take pictures in East Asia and one of the first war photographers. His photographs represent the first substantial oeuvre of what came to be called photojournalism. He is noted for his genre works, portraits, and views and panoramas of the architecture and landscapes of Asia and the Mediterranean region. Beato's travels throughout Asia gave him the opportunity to create powerful and lasting images of countries, people and events that were unfamiliar and remote to most people in Europe and North America. To this day his work provides the key images of such events as the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and the Second Opium War. The Indian Rebellion or Indian Mutiny, also called Sepoy Mutiny (1857-58), was a widespread uprising against British rule in India begun by Indian troops (sepoys) in the service of the British East India Co. Beato documented the aftermath of the gruesome events, depicting military groups, bullet-scarred walls, blown-out battlements, corpse-littered courtyards, and the hangings of mutineers.
  • Local Numbers

    FSA A1993.04
  • Photographer

    Beato, Felice, b. ca. 1825
  • Place

    India -- History -- Sepoy Rebellion, 1857-1858
    India -- Delhi -- Delhi
  • Custodial History

    Purchased by Milo Beach from Ken and Jenny Jacobson Victorian Photography, Essex, England, 1993
  • Archival Repository

    Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
  • Type

    Collection descriptions
    Archival materials
    Glass negatives
    Albumen prints
    Photograph albums
  • Citation

    Felice Beato Photograph Album - "Photographs of Delhi", FSA.A1993.04. National Museum of Asian Art Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
  • Arrangement

    One box; Arranged by size of material
  • Rights

    Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
  • Genre/Form

    Albumen prints
    Photograph albums
    Photographs -- 1850-1900
    Glass negatives
  • Restrictions

    Collection is open for research.

Repository Contact

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
National Museum of Asian Art Archives
Washington, D.C. 20013