Tracing the Impact and Addressing the Visual Aesthetic of Calotype in Colonial India

МАТЕРИАЛЫ НАУЧНОЙ КОНФЕРЕНЦИИ В РАМКАХ ВЫСТАВКИ «УИЛЬЯМ ГЕНРИ ФОКС ТАЛЬБОТ. У ИСТОКОВ ФОТОГРАФИИ» Государственный музей изобразительных искусств имени А.С. Пушкина 1 TRACING THE IMPACT AND ADDRESSING THE VISUAL AESTHETIC OF CALOTYPE IN COLONIAL INDIA Shreya Mukherjee (India), Postgraduate Research Fellow, Art History Department Visva-Bharati University (West Bengal) “I strongly recommend every assistant surgeon to make himself master of photography. <…> During the course of his service in India he may make such a faithful collection of representations of man and animals, of architecture and landscape that could be a welcome contribution to any museum…” i John McCosh, 1856 The arrival and adaptation of photography in India had a purpose to serve: it brought the oriental fantasy alive in front of the European world. The faraway exotic oriental land unveiled itself through photographic images, which retained and completed its visual authenticity. These representations would further acquire a place in museums, commercial albums, and personal memories. The desire to capture a faithful representation of the human eye finally became attainable with the camera as ideal tool of documentation. As the noted French photographer Gustave Le Gray wrote, “...it raises the public taste by accustoming them to view nature in all her fidelity, frequently accompanied with exquisite taste and sentiment.” Human vision was considered to be synonymous to the neutral eye of the camera; in addition, photography strived to make distance closer and information more reliable. It also worked well as a support for the colonizer to refine their role as

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