Lionel Wendt was a man of many skills: a pianist, a writer, a teacher, but most of all, an art photographer. He returned to his motherland Ceylon (Sri Lanka) after studying in Great-Britain in the twenties.  The Lionel Wendt art centrum for theatre and visual arts in Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, is named after him. Wendt identified the cultural differences between Sri Lanka and the West. The traditional lifestyle in his birthplace felt special to him, and photography was his way to show the cultural expressions of Ceylon to the world.

  • Author: Lionel Wendt
  • Title: Ceylon
  • Service provided: Translation and final editing


The themes of Wendt’s work range from spectacular images of the landscape, the cultural heritage and the local inhabitants of Ceylon to homo-erotic nudes, which were not acceptable in his time. Wendt managed to disguise his erotic art with academic poses of the models and minimalistic yet revealing clothing. The use of different techniques and effects enhanced the artistic side of his work and helped to disguise the eroticism underneath.  After he prematurely died in 1944, the negatives of his work were presumably destroyed, but fortunately, reappeared in the 90’s, and are now owned by several international private- and museum collections.

‘Glorious modernist photographs with avant-garde and surrealist overtones: the use of photomontage, double printing and solarisation is particularly effective’

– Art Blart

Service provided

Huis Marseille has been a regular client of ours for translations of brochures, expositions and their annual programs. We have dedicated translators for Huis Marseille who specialize in photography and they’ve provided the translation and editing on this wonderful book for their exposition of Lionel Wendt’s work in September 2017.

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