SOAS University of London

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts

Uncovering Fiebig's handcoloured photographs of Ceylon

Andrew Jarvis (Cambridge University)

Date: 30 January 2013Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 30 January 2013Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B111

Type of Event: Seminar

In this paper I will focus on a series of handcoloured photographs of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) by F. Fiebig, whose photographic peregrinations in the early 1850s encompassed an arc of Crown and Company territories. These early photographs are part of a corpus of at least 480 calotypes of Bengal, Madras, Ceylon, Mauritius, and the Cape Colony, which were taken during the period 1851-3 and sold to the East India Company's Court of Directors in London in 1856. I will draw attention to Fiebig's elaborate tableaux of 'scenes' relating to the coffee industry in Ceylon, his delineations of architecture from Calcutta to Cape Town, and the practice of colouring photographs. What happened during the photographic event? How did the individuals in the photographs present themselves, and were they able to 'withstand' the paint?

Organiser: Crispin Branfoot

Contact email:

Contact Tel: 020 7898 4450