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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Sir Charles Patton Keyes

Names:
Other: Charles Patton Keyes 
Dates:  1823 - 1896, 5 February
 
  

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John Falconer, British Library 
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia

 
Amateur, India
Son of Thomas Keyes; entered 30th Madras Native Infantry 1843; served in all principal Punjab border campaigns 1849-70; with Sir Charles Napier at the Kohat Pass 1850; campaign against Waziris 1860; Umball Campaign 1863; commanded campaign against Waziris 1869; commanded Dour Valley Expedition 1870; campaign against Jowaki Afridis 1877-78; commanded Hyderabad Subsidiary Force 1881; retired 1884; Major-General 1887; General 1889.[1]
 
Two group portraits of Europeans at Murree in 1863 in the Younghusband Collection are credited to Keyes.[2] Many of the photographs in Photo 782 are also by Keyes, and possibly also in Photo 752/12.
 
Keyes was a member of the Bengal Photographic Society from the early 1860s and contributed a number of views to the 1864 exhibition, where he won a silver medal for ‘the second best series of at least ten photographs, whether portraits or landcsapes,’ his prints receiving the following criticism:
Nos. 25 to 38. Lieut. Col. C.P. Keyes. - These pictures are without doubt excellent; the views are well chosen, the subject novel and striking, and the delineation of clouds and snow with foreground detail charming in the highest degree. No. 38 is unquestionably the finest of the series, and beyond its great merits as a photograph, it is both interesting and valuable from its being taken at an elevation of 14,000 feet, and in the almost inaccessible country of Kughan. Next in order of merit we should rank No. 37, (which is charmingly atmospheric), 31 and 36; 32, 33, 34 and 35 follow.
The foreground of No. 31 is marred by a blot of awkwardly shaped shadow. It would of course have been better had this been avoided. We cannot help thinking, moreover, that fine as these pictures undoubtedly are, they would, with better printing, have been even finer.
Colonel Keye’s great strength would appear to lie in landscape, so far at least as the present series may be taken as fair specimens of his ability. In the figure-subjects he does not seem to have given that attention to grouping which the interest of his subjects would so well have repaid. This is much to be regretted, but we shall look forward with great interest for future contributions from Col. Keyes.[3]
 
  
 
  

Footnotes 
  
  1. Λ C.E. Buckland, Dictionary of Indian Biography (1906) 
      
  2. Λ British Library, OIOC Eur Mss F197/37(32a and b). 
      
  3. Λ Journal of the Bengal Photographic Society, new series vol 3, no. 10, December 1864, p. 7. 
      
 
  

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