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Beatos Delhi 1857 and Beyond


Beato’s Delhi offers a pictorialhistory of Delhi, brought vividly to life through the visual virtuosity ofFelice A. Beato, the famous nineteenth-century photographer who came to Indiato record the last embers of the 1857 Mutiny , and Jim Masselos who, in 1997,retraced Beato s footsteps and photographed the same sites as far as possible. 

By thetime Beato reached Delhi in January 1858, the British had already subdued thecity, so he could not record the military campaign itself. However, his lenswas perhaps the first to capture the battleground and other places of note inthat campaign, providing for posterity some unique views of Old Delhi beforesubstantial parts of it were demolished in the aftermath of 1857, or radicallyredeveloped as the years progressed. 

Beato sluminous views are juxtaposed with Masselos s present-day photographs of thebustling metropolis, shedding light on how the face of Delhi has transformed inthe intervening 154 years. Supplemented with an illuminating text by Masselosand Narayani Gupta, Beato s Delhi is a moving testament to the resilience ofthis ever-evolving city.