Interior of the Moti Masjid, Agra, c 1865.
© NMeM / Kodak Collection / Science & Society
A photograph of the Moti Masjid at Agra Fort, India, taken by Samuel Bourne. The Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) was built between 1646 and 1653. One of the most beautiful mosques in India, it is made entirely of marble. The perspective of this long ornate corridor is beautifully captured, with carved archways receding into the distance, leading to an intricately carved doorway. 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.