'Delhi: The Kutub Minar, From The West', c 1865.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photograph of the Qutub Minar tower, Delhi, India, taken by Samuel Bourne. The tower's foundations were laid in 1199. It has been used for various purposes including as minaret to give calls for prayer, and an astronomical observation point. Over time, more storeys were added to the tower, eventually making it the highest in India. Bourne, a pioneer of travel photography, began his working life as a bank clerk. ln 1863 he went to India where he established a studio in Simla, in partnership with Charles Shepherd. Between 1863 and 1870 he undertook several photographic expeditions, including trips to the Himalayas, producing a collection of landscape views unsurpassed in technical skill and compositional elegance. By 1870 the Bourne and Shepherd catalogue contained 2,000 views from all parts of the subcontinent.