Monday, June 19, 2006

Lahore - 1863

Lahore - 2004

I was in Lahore in 2004, when I took the colour photo. It's taken from Lahore Fort, and looks out towards the beautiful Badshahi Mosque, built by Aurangzeb. The smaller building to the right is a Sikh Gurudwara, constructed by Ranjit Singh, who in the late 18th century established the first sikh empire with Lahore as its capital.

Subsequently, I was surprised to come across the other photo on the British Library website. While not taken from identical angles, they are from a substantially similar one, and it is interesting to contrast the 19th century vista with the 21st century one. Not much has changed, indeed as with the minarets, some embellishments seem to have been made since.

This reminds me of an exhibition I saw in Paris in September last year. It involved the work of [I think] two artists who had gone to India around the mid-19th century, painting an assortment of palaces, temples, cities, ruins, sceneries etc. A French photographer had followed in their footsteps, seeking out the same places they had drawn, and taking photographs of them as they were now. It was magical, and I will not spoil it by talking about it - you should see it instead. I will try and get some of those details and photos and paintings for you/me/us to enjoy and admire.