the-south-asian Life & Times April - June 2010
exhibition of Indian portraits – the first of its kind in the UK -
at the National Portrait Gallery on
March 11, 2010.
The sixty works of art - drawn from public and private collections in the
UK, USA and Europe -
range from formal
portraits of the Mughal emperors to studies of courtiers and ordinary men
story of the Indian portrait over three centuries - ways in which Indian
artists have approached the depiction of the human form and the changing
role of portraiture in Indian history. The distinctive regional styles from
Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills are shown alongside the European-influenced
works produced by Indian artists under British rule.
The Indian portrait is thus the sophisticated product of indigenous development and foreign influence. The exhibition demonstrates how the Indian portrait stands shoulder to shoulder with the best examples of portraiture from around the world.
These paintings are a record of a rich and complex history, embracing influences from Iran and Europe as well as local Hindu and Muslim traditions. They not only show a growing self-awareness of how Indians saw themselves, but also how they wished to be seen.
More in the print edition
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