Still Prints of Asia: Inside the Secunderabagh, Lucknow
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Beato, Felice, b. ca. 1825
circa 1858
Physical Description:
1 Print
image 26 x 30 cm., mounted 38 x 41 cm.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
One albumen print by Felix Beato, mounted on card, with "Lucknow. Inside the Secunderabagh Shewing [sic] where 2600 Sepoys were Killed" inscribed in black ink below the print. View taken circa 1858 of the interior of the Sikandar Garden, with skeletal remains strewn across the grounds.

One flat box.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Although he was born in Greece, Felice Beato worked as a press photographer in England and achieved recognition for his coverage of British political conflicts, photographing the Crimean War of 1855 and, together with his brother-in-law, James Robertson, the 1858 Indian Mutiny in Delhi and Lucknow. After moving to Yokohama in 1863, Beato opened the area's first photography studio and documented the people and culture of Japan for the next twenty years, taking photographs and selling them to tourists. During his travels, Beato was able to gain access to Japanese ports that were open only to diplomats by acting as an official photographer for the British navy.
Biographical / Historical
The Sikandar Garden is a villa and garden complex located on the outskirts of Lucknow, which was the capital of the former state of Oudh (now spelt Awadh, and a region in the state of Uttar Pradesh), in India. The prolonged defense in Lucknow by the British proved to be one of the key episodes in the unsuccessful Indian Rebellion of 1857-1858. During the siege of the city, the Sikandar (or Secundra) Garden was used as a refuge by hundreds of sepoys who were under attack by British troops. On November 16, 1857, the villa was overrun and approximately 2000 sepoys were killed. After the fighting, the British dead were buried in a deep trench but the Indian dead were left to rot. In early 1858 Beato took this well-known photograph, possibly the first photographic depiction of human corpses, although there is some controversy over whether he had some of the corpses disinterred for dramatic effect.

Custodial History
Purchased, 1999.

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
FSA A1999.27


Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Lucknow (India) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lucknow (India) -- History -- Siege, 1857 Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sikandar Garden (Lucknow, India) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Albumen prints Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
India -- Uttar Pradesh -- Lucknow Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Washington, D.C. 20013