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Tim Barringer talk on “Panoramic Empire: Painting, Photography, Film in British India, 1787-1912”

November 12 @ 4:15 pm - 6:00 pm
Vita Nova Hall
Scripps College
Profesor Juliet Koss
909 607 8997


From its inception, the painted panorama was understood as a global technology—a manifestation of limitless reach in visual form and restlessly changing thematic content. Moving from canvas to photograph to cinema screen, the panorama emerged during a period of warfare between rival empires across much of the world, and it placed nineteenth-century European and American audiences at the center of spectacular landscapes and historical events. As Britain became the dominant colonial force in South Asia, panoramic forms were increasingly used to justify and celebrate the new colonial regime. Under the East India Company, large-scale panoramas appeared in Calcutta, while India was represented by panoramic paintings in London. After the Rebellion of 1857-8, photography became the dominant visual medium, with large-scale panoramas providing spectacular documentation of Indian architecture, often showing the scars of recent violence. By 1912 the moving image was a major factor in imperial visual culture, and surviving hand-tinted images from the Durbar attended by the King-Emperor George V indicate the importance of new media in bolstering invented traditions of empire.
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Tim Barringer is Paul Mellon Professor and Chair of the Department of the History of Art at Yale University. His books include Reading the Pre-Raphaelites (1999; revised 2012) and Men at Work: Art and Labour in Victorian Britain (2005). With colleagues he co-edited Frederic Leighton: Antiquity, Renaissance, Modernity (1998); Colonialism and the Object (1998); Art and the British Empire (2007); Writing the Pre-Raphaelites (2009) and Victorian Jamaica (2018). He was co-curator of the exhibitions American Sublime (2002); Art and Emancipation in Jamaica (2007); Opulence and Anxiety (2007); Before and After Modernism (2010); Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (2012) and Pastures Green and Dark, Satanic Mills (2013); he is also co-curator, with Elizabeth Kornhauser, of Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and National Gallery, London, 2018), Picturesque and Sublime (2018) and Radical Victorians (2019). His is currently completing the book Broken Pastoral: Art and Music in Britain, Gothic Revival to Punk Rock.


This event is presented by Department of Art History / Scripps Harper Lecture Funds