On sale is a candid view of Jaipur's star monument, the Hawa Mahal. Built-in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, the building was designed by Ustad Lal Chand. This black and white image captures a day in the life of the monument, with local people moving about cognizant yet unperturbed by the grandiose of the monument.
Hawa Mahal is part of our first series on Vintage Photos of India from the mid 20th century. Photography has been part of the Indian narrative since the mid 19th century and soon became a popular medium of documenting the diverse life and landscape of the country. After 1947, photography in India implied maintaining the delicate balance between capturing the beauty and progress of a newly independent country versus the famine, floods, wars and poverty that plagued the nation. Eventually, photography came to be recognised as a mainstream artistic medium and slowly became collectable after galleries started collecting and exhibiting them.