Unveiling India The early lensmen (1850-1910)

Focus exhibition


The exhibition will look at the first photography in India and its commercial followers, with a superb selection of negatives and vintage prints, shown for the first time in Europe.

The first part of the show will be dedicated to the original wax negatives by Alexander Greenlaw; unique shots of the South-Indian Vijayanagara site, taken around 1855-1856. Around the same period, Scottish doctor John Murray was based near Agra with his regiment of the British East India Company. Murray’s predilection for the photographic medium resulted in an astonishing series of photos of the Taj Mahal; the first ever made of the iconic Mughal monument. The third part will show how commercial photography took over from the first pioneers. Publications and postcards start to spread photos of India’s architectural monuments, landscapes and cities.

Curators: Rahaab Allana, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts (New Delhi) and Davy Depelchin, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Organisation: Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, ICCR, Europalia International

Practical informations


Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Rue de la Régence / Regentschapstraat 3
1000 Brussels

+32 (0)2 508 32 11


Tuesday – Sunday : 10:00-17:00
Ticket sales close at 16:30


Free admission with a ticket for the Musée Fin-de-Siècle Museum