William Dalrymple - The Historian's Eye

The Historian’s Eye presents a photographic record of William Dalrymple’s travels across the country over the last two years while researching his upcoming book. It features a unique set of images of the places where art and history were being made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and includes a small selection of photographs from modern-day Pakistan.

William Dalrymple is well known and recognised for his writing, but photography was his first love, the artistic outlet of his youth. The purchase of a Samsung Edge camera phone in recent years led to his rediscovery of the medium. Dalrymple’s approach to photography—facilitated here by the mobility and immediacy of a camera phone—is intuitive and instinctive, while his aesthetic reflects the sensibility of polished, economical prose, resulting in stark, high-contrast images pared down to their essence.

Photographs are intrinsically bound to place and time, but Dalrymple’s images create a wrinkle in time that highlight an intermingling of the monumental past and fleeting present. Each photograph reveals a narrative tension within itself, between stillness and movement, history and reality. A boy skips down the passage, a cyclist turns at the gate, a hawk circles the dome and three generations of a Kalash family come together in a single frame: the past by turn is present, unveiled, subverted and transformed in the contemporary moment through the historian’s lens.

Exhibition Schedule


12 April - 03 May 2018

Akara Art, 1st Floor,
4/5 Churchill Chambers
32 Mereweather Road
Colaba, Mumbai 400001

11 am to 6.30 pm
(Tues to Sat)