Paul Gerhardt

Paul Gerhardt was one of the very first people to produce artist-signed postcards in India. As chief lithographer at the Ravi Varma Press, he arrived in Bombay with the press machinery in the early 1890s. The working language at the Press was German, and lithographers at the time were highly trained technicians and artists. Gerhardt was a painter as well, at times working with the Varma brothers whom he befriended and was admired by (as the younger Varma's diaries record). These postcards, which can be firmly dated to a contract and some of which are signed and dated in 1899, were his own work. Some may date to 1898, and some are not signed but likely from similarities in style and backs to have been drawn and produced by him at the Press.

Jumma Masjid Bombay

Jumma Masjid Bombay

Another exuberant, deftly rendered very early postcard by Paul Gerhardt, chief lithographer at the Ravi Varma Press in Bombay. Note the simply drawn mosque minarets, the colors that pull you in while the cart pushes out into the foreground space.

Bombay View

Bombay View

Bombay is the anglicized name of the original Portuguese word "Bombaim." Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra.

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