AKBAR'S TOMB, SOUTH FRONT FROM EAST SIDE OF COURTYARD WITH TWO FIGURES
June 30, 1858
Architectural and Building
Humayun II 1857-1877
John Murray (English, 1809–1898) about 1858–62
Photograph, albumen print from a waxed paper negative
Image/Sheet: 38.3 x 44.4 cm (15 1/16 x 17 1/2 in.)
John Murray learned photography in 1849 while he was stationed near the Taj Mahal with the army medical service of the East India Company, and he became an expert in the paper negative process. During his forty years in India, he traveled widely in the north to photograph the masterpieces of Mughal architecture. The waxed paper negative, which did not need immediate developing, was well suited to his project. Emperor Akbar's tomb, dating from the seventeenth century, is represented in the Museum's collection as both a paper negative and a positive albumen print. Murray blackened the sky in the negative so that in the print it has a uniform tone that balances the spaciousness of the courtyard, allowing the architectural ensemble to dominate the composition.
Sotheby's London, 18 June 1999, no. 28; Charles Isaacs 19th & 20th Century Photographic Masterworks, Malvern, PA; purchased December 1999.