Umrao Singh Sher-Gil (1870–1954) was born an Indian aristocrat but opted for a more contemplative life than his class had destined for him. A Sanskit and Persian scholar, he immersed himself in other varied interests, including philosophy, astronomy, yoga, and photography. This book presents the photographic oeuvre of Umrao Singh preserved as part of the Sher-Gil family archive. The photographs were taken over a sixty-year period, beginning from 1889, and includes many self-portraits as well as shots of his family, such as his Hungarian wife, Marie Antoinette, and their artistically inclined daughters, Amrita and Indira. The images are arranged into five sections according to the different locations in India, Hungary, and France where the family resided. With foreword by Vivan Sundaram, essay by Deepak Ananth, author biographies, notes on the archive, and titles and details of photographs.
'[Umrao Singh Sher-Gil's] photographic archive constitutes a legacy that highlights the role of personal agency in the construction of a modern subject. The hundreds of photographs he took form an extraordinary record of the life-world of an Indo-European family, and are a valuable document in the archives of modernity. He deserves to be seen as a pioneering figure of Indian photography.' - excerpt from back flap
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