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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Weston Barwise

Dates:  1826, 16 May - 1863, 9 April

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

Amateur, Burma
45th Madras Native Infantry
Personal: Son of Weston Barwise, watchmaker of St Martin’s Lane, London, and Frances; baptised at St Martin in the Fields, 9.1.1827; educated at Mr Hughes’ establishment, Ramsgate, 1840-41, and at Dr Firminger’s, Edmonton; Addiscombe, 1842-44; mother living at 37 Albemarle Street, London in 1844; [1]
Service: Ensign, 45th MNI, 1844, arrived India 3 Dec 1844; Lieutenant, 1853, Major, 1856; Stationed at Trichinopoly 1850, Secunderabad August 1850, Burma 1853; with 17th MNI 1863; [2] (?)resigned 1863.
Photographic: At the Madras Photographic Society Exhibition of 1858: ‘Captain W. Barwise exhibited 42 prints from collodion negatives, some taken in England, but the majority in Burmah. They comprised portraits, groups and landscapes of every variety - the two former illustrative of the dress and customs of the Burmese. This gentleman appears to have used an old hypo-bath, the traces imparted by which, in our opinion did anything but justice to the negatives, most of which must have been very clear, and should have yielded better proofs’. [3] The English views presumably taken on his recent furlough, the Burmese during the posting of the 45th MNI to Rangoon from Sep 1855 (or possibly the earlier posting of 1853). At the 1859 Madras Exhibition, ‘Captain Barwise exhibits 12 collodion views of the Seven Pagodas and neighbourhood. These are further stated to have been taken by the honey process. The subjects of this contribution are highly interesting; they are generally speaking well selected, and display a good gradation of tone. These prints, however, evidently do not give sufficient justice to the negatives from which they have been taken which is much to be regretted, as so far as can be judged from them, the latter cannot be otherwise than excellent - indeed had the printing been good Captain Barwise would no doubt have stood a good chance for the Gold Medal. All of these prints before they were even placed in the exhibition had begun to give indications of fading, and some of them are now rapidly disappearing. In the whole of them, the skies are of a deep yellow or cheesy colour, no. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 12 would have been very good pictures but for the defect above observed. The village scenes especially are excellent in an artistic point of view. The Committee hope that Captain Barwise will, on a future occasion, adopt another printing process instead of the one has hitherto employed, when no doubt his pictures will bear comparison with those of most photographers in this country.’ [4] 

  1. Λ IORLMIL9199ff.592-8. 
  2. Λ IORL1148f.533. 
  3. Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, no.7, new series, 1858-9, p.172-3. 
  4. Λ Madras Journal of Literature and Science, no.9, new series, Apr-Sep 1859, pp.189. 

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