About this artwork

The fort at Agra was originally built as a military stronghold, and dated back to the eleventh century. It became a royal court with the accession of Akbar in 1556. This photograph shows the river side of the fort, with its wide terrace and the defensive walls enclosing a moat. The sandbanks of the River Jumna, visible in the background, supplied Agra during the hottest months 'with the finest melons in the world'. This type of scenery would have appealed to a British audience fully aware of its imperial hold on the splendours of India.

Dr John Murray

Dr John Murray

Dr John Murray was born in Blackhouse, Aberdeen, the son of a farmer. He first qualified as a doctor in Edinburgh in 1831 and in 1832 joined the East India Company army medical service. Murray spent the following seventeen years as a ship's surgeon and was present at the first Sikh or Sutlej war in 1845-6. His photographic career commenced after he became the officer in charge of the Medical School at Agra in 1849. Photographs by Murray were published in two series, Picturesque Views in the North Western Province of India (1859) and Photographic Views in Agra (1858).