Samuel Bourne (England, 1834-1912): "Vishnu Pud and Other Temples near the Burning Gat, Benares." Albumen print, circa 1865. Approximately 8-3/4" x 11".
The temples are located on the banks of the Ganges in the holy city of the Hindus, now called Varanasi. The gats are steps to the river, often used for cremations. The umbrellas shelter holy men who help pilgrims with rituals.
This beautifully-composed photograph, teeming with activity, is certainly among Bourne's finest and most observant works. Another copy, in the collection of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, was published in Masters of Early Travel Photography by Rainer Fabian and Hans-Christian Adam (Vendome Press, New York: 1983) and also appeared on the front of the book's dust-jacket. A print of the image in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum was published in The Golden Age of British Photography, 1839-1900 (Aperture: 1984).
Return to the "Fabled Façades" Gallery
Next Gallery: Destruction/Preservation
© 1998 Wm. B. Becker -- All Rights Reserved