F. R. Ratnagar

The Sunlit Barn
11.5 x 8 Inches
Bromide Photograph
Signed in English lower right and dated 1929. Titled lower left

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F. R.Ratnagar is credited with initiating the pictorialist movement in British India. In 1932, 'Camera Pictorialists of Bombay' was founded for the advancement of pictorialist photography and the recognition of photography as a fine art in India. Besides F.R. Ratnagar, other founding members of the group were J.N. Unwalla, Li Gotami, D.S Bottelewalla, S.L Khambata, N.J Nalawalla and K.J Khandalvala. The CPB established pictorial photography in India by presenting international exhibitions as well as individual shows.

Ratnagar was committed to promoting artistic photography in India, organizing exhibitions 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 recognized internationally, and he received a fellowship of both the Royal Photographic Society in Great Britain and the Photographic Society of America.He served as the Honorary president of The Phtographic Society of India from 1939-1940.

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.