Aug 13, 2020
Aug 13, 2020

Perumal Temple Vimana from Corner of Court, Madurai

Perumal Temple Vimana from Corner of Court, Madurai


Captain Linnaeus Tripe

(British, 1822–1902)

Albumen print from a waxed paper negative

Image: 34.2 x 26.8 cm (13 7/16 x 10 9/16 in.); Paper: 34.2 x 26.8 cm (13 7/16 x 10 9/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2020.209

Catalogue raisonné: Dewan: CR6-143


Did you know?

The architecture was probably painted with bright colors, but Linnaeus Tripe’s photographic technology captured only a monochromatic range of tones.


Although the temple would have been crowded with worshippers, Tripe shows us empty spaces. His paper negatives and primitive lens required long exposures, even in the bright sunlight of India—too long to record an individual in motion. Tripe, photographing for the colonial government, may also have used his official status to have the temple cleared of visitors so he could obtain unobstructed views of the architecture.

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