Skip to content

Collection

All

Search

Western art

Photography

View More:


Title

Stormy weather


Artist

F R Ratnagar

India

1898 - 1994


About

Pictorialism and the recognition of photography as a fine art had its greatest impact in India from 1932. This was the year that the Camera Pictorialists of Bombay was formed with F R Ratnagar as one of its founding members. Ratnagar was committed to promoting artistic photography in India, organising exhibitions there such as the All-India Salon of Photographic Art in 1933 and the first show of international photography in 1935. Ratnagar’s work was also recognised internationally, and he received a fellowship of both the Royal Photographic Society in Great Britain and the Photographic Society of America.

In a period which saw the increased popular usage of the camera, Ratnagar argued against the prejudices that this created in accepting the potential of the medium as an art form. He claimed that ‘the difference between the millions of people who use cameras and the few who practice pictorial photography is a difference in aim’.1 The true artist, he believed, was well aware of the image that they wished to secure before they took it, but waited for the correct moment – after close observation of the subject and the conditions of light and weather upon it – to create it. ‘Stormy weather’ suggests this carefully staged approach to photography. The mood of the entire composition is translated by the light and feel of a turbulently clouded sky, which exposes the columned post and the shrouded figures which lean against it as surrealist props within the landscape.

1. Ratnagar F R 1942, ‘Photography as a fine art’, ‘Indian Photography and Cinematography’, Jul p 75

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007


Details


Other Title

Untitled (women in saris)


Date

1934


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

gelatin silver photograph


Dimensions

15.9 x 11.4 cm image; 17.2 x 12.3 cm sheet


Signature & date

Signed l.r. sheet, pencil "F.R Ratnagar". Not dated.


Credit

Gift of the Sydney Camera Circle 1977


Location

Not on display


Accession number

156.1977


Artist information

F R Ratnagar

Works in the collection

3


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


Denise Mimmocchi, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'International pictorialism', pg.53-69, Sydney, 2007, 69 (illus.).

Author Unknown, Indian Photography and Cinematography, Jul 1942, 75 (illus.).