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From Miniature to Modern II
From
Miniature
to Modern II
Traditions in Transition:
Indian works on paper
Presented by E W Art - Los Angeles   I   Pundo...
From Miniature to Modern II
Traditions in transition

It has been common for Indian painting exhibitions to be split into ...
AN ILLUSTRATION FROM THE
    Gulistan of Sadi
     A Vizier Pleads before the King for the Life of a Youth
     Mughal, In...
A page from a Ragamala series:
      Kakubha Ragini
      Opaque pigment on paper
      Popular Mughal possibly at Amber o...
9
An illustration from a Madhavanala
     Kamakandala series
       Inside a building, Madhava sits facing a
       man hold...
11
RAVANA SHOWS SITA THE SEVERED
     HEAD OF RAMA
       Folio from the dispersed Shangri Ramayana Series
       Book VI (La...
13
14
HANUMAN AND THE MONKEY ARMY
BATTLE THE DEMON FORCES OF RAVANA
 Folio from the dispersed Shangri Ramayana Series
 Book VI (...
ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA
       Tulsi Ramayana, Book 2, no. 144
       Mewar, India
       Opaque pigment on paper hei...
17
ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA
     After bathing in the River Ganga, Rama Lakshamana and Sita approach the hermitage of Bha...
ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA                   The Bharat and Shatrughna leave Ayodhya for the village of Nandigrama to aw...
ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA                   With Rama and Lakshmana seated before him, Dasaratha sits in contemplation ...
ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA
       Vishwamitra visits the ashram of Vasishta
       Mandi, India
       Opaque pigment on...
23
ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA
       Rama and Lakshmana defend Vishwamitra’s sacrifice
       Mandi, India
       Opaque pi...
25
ILLUSTRATION FROM A MARKENDEYA
     PURANA SERIES
     The Court of Sumbha
     Mandi, India
     Opaque pigment on paper ...
ILLUSTRATION FROM A MARKENDEYA
PURANA SERIES
Kausiki attacks Sumbha
Mandi, India
Opaque pigment on paper heightened with g...
28
ILLUSTRATION FROM A MARKENDEYA
PURANA SERIES
  Kausiki attacks Sumbha
  Kangra, India
  Opaque pigment on paper heightened...
This is one of a few Sumi-es Nandalal painted of an isolated temple in the middle of vast
     NANDALAL BOSE (1882 – 1966)...
NANDALAL BOSE (1882 – 1966)                Here we see two Hindu village women, nearly identical in profile, standing moti...
NANDALAL BOSE (1882 – 1966)                             The three boars on the grassy slope of a shallow hill full of gran...
NANDALAL BOSE (1882 – 1966)                             Bose was interested in the anthropology and the life of tribal peo...
S. DHANAPAL (1919 - 2000)
       Palace
       Ink and wash on paper
       36.8 x 26.7 cm.
       1945




     S. Dhanap...
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924 – 2002)
       Lovers
       Pencil and opaque pigment on paper
       Signed and dated ‘Souza/...
37
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924 - 2002)
     Untitled
     Pen and ink on paper
     Signed and dated ‘Souza 76’ upper left
   ...
FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924 - 2002)
Untitled
Pen and ink on paper
Signed and dated ‘Souza 1976’ upper left
42 x 29.5 cm.
19...
MAQBOOL FIDA HUSAIN (b. 1915)
     Untitled
     Pen and Ink on paper
     Signed ‘Husain’ lower right
     28.5 x 38 cm.
...
MAQBOOL FIDA HUSAIN (b. 1915)
Untitled
Pen and Ink on paper
Signed ‘Husain’ upper left
28.5 x 38 cm.


                   ...
AKBAR PADAMSEE (b. 1928)
     Nude
     Pencil on paper
     Signed and dated ‘PADAMSEE 2000’ upper right
     50 x 32 cm....
AKBAR PADAMSEE (b. 1928)
Nude
Pencil on paper
Signed and dated ‘PADAMSEE ‘97’ upper left
28 x 18.5 cm.
1997




          ...
Krishnaji Howlaji Ara (1914 – 1985)
     Untitled
     Watercolour on paper
     Signed ‘ARA’ lower left
     73 x 53 cm.
...
K LAXMA GOUD (b. 1940)
Still Life
Ink on paper
Signed in telegu upper right
20.8 x 30.5 cm.




                          ...
K LAXMA GOUD (b. 1940)
     Nude
     Ink and wash on paper
     Signed in telegu lower right
     20.8 x 30.5 cm.




46
K LAXMA GOUD (b. 1940)
Nude couple
Ink and wash on paper
Signed in telegu lower left
20.8 x 30.5 cm.




                 ...
BADRI NARAYAN (b. 1929)
     Untitled
     Ink and watercolour on paper
     37 x 28 cm.
     1996




48
BADRI NARAYAN (b. 1929)
Untitled
Ink and watercolour on paper
28 x 38 cm.
2005


                               49
From Miniature to Modern : Traditions in Transition II
From Miniature to Modern : Traditions in Transition II
From Miniature to Modern : Traditions in Transition II
From Miniature to Modern : Traditions in Transition II
From Miniature to Modern : Traditions in Transition II
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From Miniature to Modern : Traditions in Transition II

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Presented by E W Art - Los Angeles, Pundole Art Gallery - Mumbai, Rob Dean Art - London,

This exhibition highlights the changing styles of painting that existed in India over a period of more than three hundred years focusing on works on paper. The paintings reveal a constant evolution of styles and formats that depended on both the whims of patrons and the personal genius of the individual artist.

Preview EW Art Los Angeles: 21st September, 2010 6pm - 9 pm
View: 22nd September - 15th October, 2010
Gallery Hours: Mon – Sat 10am – 6 pm, or by appointment.

EW Art Gallery, 1 West California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105, USA

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From Miniature to Modern : Traditions in Transition II

  1. 1. From Miniature to Modern II
  2. 2. From Miniature to Modern II Traditions in Transition: Indian works on paper Presented by E W Art - Los Angeles I Pundole Art Gallery - Mumbai I Rob Dean Art - London September - October 2010 - Los Angeles
  3. 3. From Miniature to Modern II Traditions in transition It has been common for Indian painting exhibitions to be split into four entirely separate thematic areas: Indian miniature paintings, Anglo Indian and Company School painting, Bengal School painting and Post Independence Art. The natural tendency when viewing such exhibitions is to assume that the artists painting in these different styles worked in complete isolation from each other and that there was little or no interaction between artists from these different schools. The current exhibition of works on paper places works from all four schools within a single exhibition so that one can see how artists adopted and adapted styles of artists from different cultural and artistic backgrounds to suit their own personal concerns. Furthermore the exhibition reveals how different styles ran concurrently to one another even within small regions of the country. The styles and visual vocabulary that evolved was inevitably dependant upon both the changing tastes of patrons and the individual genius of specific artists, but they equally acquired flavours and inspiration from artists and artistic sources that appeared within these communities from other regions and countries. European artists like the Danniells, Chinnery and Zoffany clearly influenced the styles of both Company school painters and less frequently artists from the Indian Royal courts working in the miniature tradition. Likewise the Bengal School reacted against the ‘Westernisation’ of Indian painting in the British Art schools of India, instead adapting imagery from the miniature tradition and various differing styles of painting from elsewhere in Asia, most notably from Japan. In the modern era Indian artists drew from all of these sources absorbing and adapting forms, styles and methods of paint application consciously and freely from wherever they felt most inspired. Despite the focus on works on paper there are inevitable gaps in the scope of the exhibition, most notably by the deliberate exclusion of photography, but we hope that the works that are included offer a brief insight into the ongoing cultural exchanges that occurred between Europe, India and the rest of Asia in a period that covers more than three hundred years. 5
  4. 4. AN ILLUSTRATION FROM THE Gulistan of Sadi A Vizier Pleads before the King for the Life of a Youth Mughal, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold c. 1590-1600. Image 16.8 x 10.2 cm. Provenance: Soustiel, Paris, November 1969 On the porch of a building, within a walled enclosure, a King, wearing an orange jama, sits on a blue floral carpet, while a youth, dressed in white, stands humbly before him. The vizier, in a peach jama and green coat, pleads for the life of the youth, while two musicians and two other servants wait in attendance. Related: Christie’s London, April 23, 2002, lot. 111; Same subject: article by Robinson, An Unpublished Manuscript of the Gulistan of Sadi in Memoriam Ernst Dietz, fig. 1b; Beach, Heeramaneck Catalogue, no. 201 (LACMA) 6
  5. 5. A page from a Ragamala series: Kakubha Ragini Opaque pigment on paper Popular Mughal possibly at Amber or Marwar Circa 1615 Image 19.4 x 13 cm. ; folio 23.5 x 17.2 cm. Provenance: Estate of Ralph Benkaim, Purchase December 1967 A lady, with an orange choli and green skirt, holds a garland in each hand as she strides across a yellow background, she is flanked by large trees and peacocks. Kakubha, a heroine (of love) is upset by the pangs of seperation, leaving her mansion she has come to the woodlands where all varieties of flowers and trees are spread about, and she has made a wonderful garland…and the repeated voice of the peacocks diverts her and in the depths of her thoughts for her lover she forgets herself. The tide of love submerged her body and made her thirst for union with her lover. Contemplating on a sweet union, her eyes are thirsting anxiously to see her lover. Thus agitated Kakubha is burning in the flames of seperation (cited in Waldschmidy II, 1975, 276). In Indian Art, the peacock resonates with associations; it is the vehicle of Sarasvati, Goddess of music; in Indian poetry it is a metaphor for courtship; and its feathers were the popular choice of Krishna for his headdress. This musical Raga is to be sung late in the morning , towards midday. Paintings from the same series are in Art of India, University of Minnesota, Pl 25; Binney, Mughal and Deccan. No 36 (Dated 1620); A Heeramaneck, Masterpieces of Indian Painting, Pl 229; Bautze, Indian Miniature painting, (Amsterdam, 1987) No. 2 8
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  7. 7. An illustration from a Madhavanala Kamakandala series Inside a building, Madhava sits facing a man holding a weighing scale Bilaspur, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Circa 1700 Folio 21.6 x 31.4 cm. Verso: Takri number: 7; two lines of Takri script; (in English) Roman numeral: XI -K. Iswari Singh of Sirmur; number 188 Provenance: Purchased May 1973 from Rama Coomaraswamy Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Ishwari Singh of Sirmur Collection Madhava wears a red dhoti while the man holding the scales is in white. In the centre section is a Brahmin with a manuscript. In the far right a noble sits holding a shield and a groom holds a blue horse. For the story see: Khajanchi Catalogue, p. 28 For information on the identification of Thakur Ishwari Singh and the transfer of Bilaspur paintings to Sirmur by Bilaspur Ranis in the early 19th century, see Archer, Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills, vol. 1, p.226. When Archer visited Ishwari Singh in 1954, he still had leaves from this Madhavanla Kamakandala series in his possession. 10
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  9. 9. RAVANA SHOWS SITA THE SEVERED HEAD OF RAMA Folio from the dispersed Shangri Ramayana Series Book VI (Lankakanda) Bahu or Jammu, India Opaque pigment on paper Image 18.4 x 28.6 cm. ; folio 21.6 x 31 cm. Circa 1700 – 1710 Provenance: Private European Collection purchased from the Mandi Royal Library in 1969 Inscribed in Devanagari on the reverse Chitra shri Bapu Sahib ‘Picture for Bapu Sahib’ The current painting is from an album of illustrations known as the 'Shangri' Ramayana after Shangri, the place of residence of a branch of the royal family of Kulu who were formerly in possession of the largest portion of these paintings. The Shangri Ramayana is widely considered to be one of the most important narrative series of paintings from the Punjab Hills. The present illustration is from the section of the epic, which relates the events leading up to the assault on Ravana's stronghold. The scene illustrates Ravana and Sita in Lanka surrounded by the demons of his court. This climactic scene is rendered against a bold yellow background dotted with trees, Ravana is seated on a striped green rug whilst Sita sits demurely in the midst of the grove surrounded by her fanged female captors. Having successfully abducted Sita from her husband Rama, Ravana wishes to marry her but she refuses. In a final act of treachery Ravana magically produces Rama’s severed head to try and deceive Sita into believing that she is now a widower, but still she refuses his advances and instead prays for the departed soul of her husband. W. G. Archer, who was one of the first scholars to examine the Shangri Ramayana, divided the paintings into different stylistic groups. For further discussion concerning the stylistic types see W. G. Archer, Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills, London, 1973, vol. 1, p. 328. Paintings from the Shangri Ramayana series are in the collections of the National Museum, New Delhi; Bharat Kala Bhavan, Benaras; British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum amongst others. For other illustrations from the same series, see Sotheby's New York, April 1, 2005, lots 108 & 109; September 20, 2005, lots 125 & 126; March 29, 2006, lots 157 & 158 and September 19, 2006, lots 9 & 10. 12
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  12. 12. HANUMAN AND THE MONKEY ARMY BATTLE THE DEMON FORCES OF RAVANA Folio from the dispersed Shangri Ramayana Series Book VI (Lankakanda) Bahu or Jammu, India Opaque pigment on paper Image 19.1 x 31.1 cm. ; folio 22.9 x 34.3 cm. Circa 1700 – 1710 Provenance: Private European Collection purchased from the Mandi Royal Library in 1969 Effaced inscription in top orange border and lower right corner of page The following page in this series, almost certainly by the same hand, also formerly in the W. G. Archer found Kulu the most likely origin for the series but more recently B. N. Royal Mandi collection was sold by Sotheby’s, New York, September 19, 2008, lot 246. (also Goswamy has attempted to re-attribute the Ramayana series to Bahu (Jammu), since see lot 10 from September 19, 2006 for another closely related battle scene). In both the there are three inscribed portraits of Bahu nobles in this style. However, these depictions battle scene occupies almost the entire composition. The monkeys in the top right hold may have been done as records of visiting dignitaries, since there are also portraits of similar tree trunks and the demons in the left hand corners brandish similar white Mankot rulers completed in a similar idiom. Thus the final attribution of the origin for the weapons. The present page is notable for the space given to the three primary demons; 'Shangri' Ramayana remains problematic. two with drawn bows and one with a large sword. (The demon on the horse drawn carriage is given even more space and his face closely relates to the demon in the LACMA Archer distinguishes four styles within the series and the current work is from a relatively page - See WGA, no. 4(i), p. 242) small group in what he terms 'Style III.' Other leaves from this series are in the National Museum, New Delhi; Bharat Kala Bhavan, Benares; British Museum; Victoria and Albert While at the same time the group of nine battling monkeys, including Hanuman, Tara and Museum and several important private collections. Also see M. S. Randhawa, Basholi Angarda, are tightly compressed, suggesting they have been forced back upon each other Painting, 1959, pls. 16 & 18; and W. G. Archer, Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills, 1973, vol. by the initial thrust of their demon foes. The crush bodies and impact of weapons results I, pp. 325-9 and vol. II, pls. 1-5, pp. 238-243. in a gruesome depiction of bloodied victims from both sides expiring in the lowers section, (both pages share the same distinctive matte orange borders with partially For other illustrations from the same series see Sotheby's New York, April 1, 2005, lots 108 effaced inscriptions at the top). & 109; September 20, 2005, lots 125 & 126; March 29, 2006, lots 157 & 158; and September 19, 2006, lots 9 & 10. 15
  13. 13. ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA Tulsi Ramayana, Book 2, no. 144 Mewar, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Folio 26.6 x 41.9 cm. Circa 1700-1720 Provenance: Private Californian Collection Bharat and Vaishata prepare to leave the Hermitage of Sage Bharadwaja in search of Rama and Lakshmana. Before they depart Dasaratha's wives approach Bharadwaja and offer thanks. Bharat explains to Bharadwaja that Kaikeyi as the root-cause of their family's misfortune. But, the sage Bharadwaja assures him that the exile of Rama would ultimately result in happiness. The Kingdom of Mewar was one of the most prolific centres for miniature painting and its capital Udaipur was the hub of the artistic activities. The characteristic features of these paintings are the bold outline drawing, vibrant palette and several consecutive scenes in one frame. A page from this series is in the Cincinnati Art Museum, ‘Pride of the Princes, Walker and Smart, 1985, no. 28 and another is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (M86.345.3) formerly in the Paul Walter Collection (See Pal, 1978, no. 27, pp. 100-101). Ten pages are in the Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena and four more are in the Ducrot collection (See Ducrot, Four Centuries of Rajput Painting Mewar, Marwar and Dhundhar Indian Miniatures from the Collection of Isabelle and Vicky Ducrot , New Delhi, 2009). Related examples are in The Walters Museum, Baltimore, see Pal (Ford Collection) 2001, no. 58, p. 130; Topsfield Court Paintings at Udaipur, 2001, no. 65, p. 97; Brooklyn Museum of Art, see Poster, 1994, nos. 166 and 168, pp. 212 and 215; Davidson Art of the Indian Subcontinent from Los Angeles Collections, no. 118, p. 79. 16
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  15. 15. ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA After bathing in the River Ganga, Rama Lakshamana and Sita approach the hermitage of Bharadwaja Tulsi Ramayana, Book 2, no. 80 Mewar, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Folio 26.6 x 41.9 cm. Circa 1700-1720 Provenance: Private Californian Collection 18
  16. 16. ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA The Bharat and Shatrughna leave Ayodhya for the village of Nandigrama to await the return of Rama. Vasishta and the other elders agree and give their blessings. Tulsi Ramayana, Book 2, no. 180 Mewar, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Folio 26.6 x 41.9 cm. Circa 1700-1720 Provenance: Private Californian Collection 19
  17. 17. ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA With Rama and Lakshmana seated before him, Dasaratha sits in contemplation thinking that Rama is a good and patient person and should be king. The announcement is made Tulsi Ramayana, Book 2, no. 17 to his ministers. A royal white elephant stands by the river. Mewar, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Folio 26.6 x 41.9 cm. Circa 1700-1720 Provenance: Private Californian Collection 20
  18. 18. ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA Vishwamitra visits the ashram of Vasishta Mandi, India Opaque pigment on paper Image 24 x 37 cm. : folio 29.5 x 42 cm. Circa 1780 Provenance: Private European Collection Before Vishwamitra became a great sage he was a king who was also known as Kaushika. During one of his exploits he and his entire army took rest at the ashram of the Rishi Vasishta. There his whole army was well fed and taken care of which led the king to question how it was possible for a simple ashram to feed an entire army. His host replied ‘Oh king this feast that you have partaken with your kinsmen, has been provided by my calf Nandini, who was gifted to me by Indra…she provides me with everything I need.’ Kaushika was amazed when he heard this and asked the sage to give him Nandini so that he could feed his army but the sage steadfastly refused. The King grew angry and ordered his soldiers to seize the cow and to drive it to his kingdom. By his yogic powers the great sage Vasishta called forth an entire army who defeated Kaushika’s army. The king was captured and presented to Vasishta who immediately pardoned him. Two parts of the narrative are depicted in the current painting; to the right side Kaushika is seen asking for Nandini and to the left the king and his army are seen leaving with the sacred calf. 22
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  20. 20. ILLUSTRATION TO THE RAMAYANA Rama and Lakshmana defend Vishwamitra’s sacrifice Mandi, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Image 23.5 x 41 cm.; folio 29.5 x 46 cm. Circa 1780 Provenance: Private European Collection The scene depicts Rama and Lakshmana both dressed in saffron robes, holding bows and arrows defending the sacrifice being held by the great rishi Vishwamitra. At his request they held vigil for six days and six nights to protect the sacred flame from being attacked and defiled by Maricha, Subahu and their demon forces, who appear in the sky along the top border of the painting. According to the text, on the morning of the sixth day Maricha and Subahu arrived with their army of Rakshasas filling the sky and this is the moment that the current page illustrates. 24
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  22. 22. ILLUSTRATION FROM A MARKENDEYA PURANA SERIES The Court of Sumbha Mandi, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Image 22 x 32 cm. ; folio 25.2 x 36.2 cm. Circa 1780 Provenance: Private European Collection 26
  23. 23. ILLUSTRATION FROM A MARKENDEYA PURANA SERIES Kausiki attacks Sumbha Mandi, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Image 22.5 x 32 cm : folio 26 x 35 cm. Circa 1780 Provenance: Private European Collection 27
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  25. 25. ILLUSTRATION FROM A MARKENDEYA PURANA SERIES Kausiki attacks Sumbha Kangra, India Opaque pigment on paper heightened with gold Image 13.7 x 20.6 cm. : folio 15.5 x 22.5 cm. Circa 1810 Provenance: Private European Collection Illustrating a scene from the Devi Mahatmya1, Kausiki is shown on her tiger mount, mutli-armed brandishing various weapons as she attacks the giant demon Sumbha. Compare with other pages depicting the similar scenes in F.S. Aijazuddin, Pahari Paintings and Sikh Portraits in the Lahore Museum, London, 1977, nos. 41 (xviii and xix), p. 47, Joachim Bautze, Lotusmond und Lowenritt: Indische Miniaturmaleri, Stuttgart, 1991, no. 17, p. 67 and Sotheby’s, New York, March 22, 1989, lot 165 1. Devi Mahatmya, verses 24 to 38, canto 88, F.S. Aijazuddin, Pahari Paintings and Sikh Portraits in the Lahore Museum, London, 1977, pp. 29 and 30. 29
  26. 26. This is one of a few Sumi-es Nandalal painted of an isolated temple in the middle of vast NANDALAL BOSE (1882 – 1966) nature, far away from cities, and villages or any man-made structure. Ascetic priests and Untitled dedicated devotees struggled to get there, to be there in peace with nature, and to Sumi-e (ink and wash on handmade paper) meditate. Rarely Nandalal painted specific locations. He usually drew from imagination, to Signed and dated in Bengali with red seal lower left evoke a feeling, or the “Rasa,” which is, for some Sanskrit Pundits the essence of all arts. The 30.2 x 45.4 cm. dark sky sets off the snow covered mountain in the background, and the two vertical flags Dated 21/6/60 make us think of Buddhist temples in Tibet. 30
  27. 27. NANDALAL BOSE (1882 – 1966) Here we see two Hindu village women, nearly identical in profile, standing motionless, wearing saris covering their heads, against seven saplings, with evenly placed leaves. The Untitled entire image is almost two dimensional and graphic in nature. The abstract quality of this Sumi-e (ink on paper) composition is particularly notable. Signed and dated in Bengali middle right 30.2 x 45.1 cm. Dated 22/1/60 31
  28. 28. NANDALAL BOSE (1882 – 1966) The three boars on the grassy slope of a shallow hill full of granite outcrops, is typical of the scenery of East Midnapore area of West Bengal. The tribal people including, Santals, Untitled Mundas, Bhumijs, Lodhas and Sabars, raise these boars. Bose painted several boar hunts Sumi-e (ink and wash on handmade paper) described in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The composition is interesting in the manner Signed and dated in Bengali with red seal lower right in which he contrasts the hard rocks and the soft grass growing around the animals and 30.5 x 40.6 cm. how he emphasized the distant objects with darker shades and sharper lines than the Dated 8/1/60 objects closer to us. 32
  29. 29. NANDALAL BOSE (1882 – 1966) Bose was interested in the anthropology and the life of tribal people, and it is an iconic theme that continues to appear in his work throughout his career . This scene depicts four Untitled tribal, perhaps Santal, hunters with bows and arrows and their hunting dogs in a forest. Sumi-e (ink and wash on handmade paper) Perhaps Bose had in mind the Shal tree forest of Jhargram, east Midnapore, home Signed and dated in Bengali with red seal middle left of various animals including, elephants, bears, deer, and jackals, as well as various 30.8 x 48.3 cm. tribal groups. Dated 8/6/59 33
  30. 30. S. DHANAPAL (1919 - 2000) Palace Ink and wash on paper 36.8 x 26.7 cm. 1945 S. Dhanapal studied painting at the Madras College of Arts and Crafts between 1935 and 1940 and a year later went on to join the faculty where he was appointed Principal in 1972 . In 1945, the year of the current work, he exhibited for the first time at the National Gallery, New Delhi. Despite being trained in the south of India the watercolours from the early part of his career show the distinct influence of the Bengal School, the monochromatic sepia washes and architectural composition of Palace being particularly reminscent of Gaganendranath Tagore’s wash paintings. 34
  31. 31. FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924 – 2002) Lovers Pencil and opaque pigment on paper Signed and dated ‘Souza/ 48’ upper right 78.7 x 55.9 cm. In 1949 Dr. Hermann Goetz1 wrote, ‘He [Souza] has shocked many who cannot imagine a Souza combines these two themes of religion and sex to highlight the complexity of their green or blue human body...who cannot stand a simplification intended to intensify an relationship within his own cultural context. In terms of the composition he draws upon experience, or a distortion of proportions suggesting a sense of earthbound the imagery of ancient Indian Hindu sculpture but the couple are painted in the style of heaviness...who cannot face the frank statement of sex which is sublimated not by a Christian stained glass window. The artist presents his very own 'divine predicament' suppression but by association and interplay with the experience of the soul’ brought up in a land of ancient beliefs that venerated the female form as a symbol of fertility, he was a Roman Catholic where nudity and sex were frequently directly The current painting is an exceptionally large format paper work from the earliest period associated with Original sin. of his career and belongs to a rare group of works that Souza produced in the late 1940’s. The works are very divergent in style, but have gouache as their common medium, they 'The abundance of religion and sex in Souza's work is linked with his defiance of the include works influenced by German Expressionism, French Impressionism and even the Roman Catholic church. He writes 'as a Roman Catholic youth born in Goa, I was familiar Persian Miniature style. The paintings reveal a period of great experimentation for the with the priests bellowing sermons from pulpits against sex and immodesty particularly artist and provide the building blocks for his own unique style that evolves after his arrival addressed to women, making them stricken with guilt. The Catholic men stood cocky in in London in 1949. Souza continued to paint erotic couples throughout his career in many their suits and ties agreeing with the priests, lusting for naked women inwardly. forms and they remain a central theme to his work. Hypocrites.’ 5 In 1948 the year of the current painting Souza had visited the India Independence exhibition in Delhi with the artist Maqbool Fida Husain, where they saw classical Indian sculpture. For both artists the exhibition had a direct and immediate impact on their work. Husain recalls 'After visiting the exhibition I combined three periods, the form of the Gupta period, the strong colors of the Basholi period and the innocence of folk art and worked on it, then came out with five paintings which were shown at the Bombay Art Society in 1949. Nobody had seen it - not even Souza. At the opening he caught hold of me and took me to the Irani restaurant opposite and said “just tell me, what is this? Have you discovered something new?”2 The 'new' in Husain's work involved an interplay of traditional symbols and motifs combined with his very personal vision of contemporary post-independence India. 1. In the 1940’s Dr Hermann Goetz was the director of the Baroda Museum and purchased a painting for the Souza's nudes from the same year with broad hips, rounded high breasts, elaborate hair Museum’s collection from Souza’s first solo exhibition after he was expelled from the J. J. School of Art. ornaments and heavy bangles are likewise clearly reminiscent of classical Indian sculpture 2. M. F. Husain in an interview with Yashodhara Dalmia in 1992, published in The Making of Modern Indian Art: in particular the mithuna couples from the temples of Khajuraho. The current painting and The Progressives, New Delhi, 2001 several like it3 appear to in artistic terms Souza's response to Husain's new style. Unlike 3. For similar gouaches from the same period see Sotheby’s, New York, 13 March 2007, lots 12 and 13 and Husain there is no attempt to attain the 'innocence' of folk art; his intention is rather to Sotheby’s, New York, 24 March 2010, lot 24. For a similar period painting in oil also titled Lovers see Christie’s, face the contemporary world head on. 'F N. Souza is concerned with two main themes; New York, 17 September 2003, lot 154 religion (suffering) and sex (pleasure). In opposition they comprise the essence of the 4. Mervyn Levy, Interview with F. N. Souza, Studio International Art Magazine, April 1964 human and the divine predicament, the dilemma of man in the mid 20th Century’4 5. F. N. Souza, "Naked Women and Religion," Debonair, 1992 36
  32. 32. 37
  33. 33. FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924 - 2002) Untitled Pen and ink on paper Signed and dated ‘Souza 76’ upper left 42 x 29.5 cm. 1976 38
  34. 34. FRANCIS NEWTON SOUZA (1924 - 2002) Untitled Pen and ink on paper Signed and dated ‘Souza 1976’ upper left 42 x 29.5 cm. 1976 39
  35. 35. MAQBOOL FIDA HUSAIN (b. 1915) Untitled Pen and Ink on paper Signed ‘Husain’ lower right 28.5 x 38 cm. 40
  36. 36. MAQBOOL FIDA HUSAIN (b. 1915) Untitled Pen and Ink on paper Signed ‘Husain’ upper left 28.5 x 38 cm. 41
  37. 37. AKBAR PADAMSEE (b. 1928) Nude Pencil on paper Signed and dated ‘PADAMSEE 2000’ upper right 50 x 32 cm. 2000 42
  38. 38. AKBAR PADAMSEE (b. 1928) Nude Pencil on paper Signed and dated ‘PADAMSEE ‘97’ upper left 28 x 18.5 cm. 1997 43
  39. 39. Krishnaji Howlaji Ara (1914 – 1985) Untitled Watercolour on paper Signed ‘ARA’ lower left 73 x 53 cm. 44
  40. 40. K LAXMA GOUD (b. 1940) Still Life Ink on paper Signed in telegu upper right 20.8 x 30.5 cm. 45
  41. 41. K LAXMA GOUD (b. 1940) Nude Ink and wash on paper Signed in telegu lower right 20.8 x 30.5 cm. 46
  42. 42. K LAXMA GOUD (b. 1940) Nude couple Ink and wash on paper Signed in telegu lower left 20.8 x 30.5 cm. 47
  43. 43. BADRI NARAYAN (b. 1929) Untitled Ink and watercolour on paper 37 x 28 cm. 1996 48
  44. 44. BADRI NARAYAN (b. 1929) Untitled Ink and watercolour on paper 28 x 38 cm. 2005 49

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