Home »  Magazine »  Books  »  Small Insights

Small Insights

This profusely-illustrated coffeetabler is a guided tour of an interesting—if uneven—collection of over 200 works in various styles

Small Insights
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
The Magic Of Indian Miniatures
By Edited By P.C. Jain
Academy of Fine Arts and Literature Pages: 242; Rs. 2,500
Many Pahari painters migrated to the court of Ranjit Singh in the 19th century. They started to function in Amritsar, Lahore and Patiala giving rise to a genre of painting based on the lives and exploits of the Sikh gurus. This profusely-illustrated coffeetabler is a guided tour of an interesting—if uneven—collection of over 200 works in various styles from Arpana Caur’s Fine Arts Miniature Museum.

The Sikh paintings consist mainly of pages from the Janam Sakhi or life of Guru Nanak. These are almost naif, illustrative narrative paintings in a folksy style. Of great charm is a painting of Guru Nanak dancing in a frenzy of spiritual ecstasy. Also interesting are the series of drawings using the technique of the Khakka or perforated stencil to reproduce the image on paper, a technique that’s still used to transfer drawings on to wet plaster in the making of frescoes. An unusual drawing from this set shows Bahadur Shah Zafar and Ranjit Singh suspended side by side in a pair of teardrop frames.

The book also includes a Pahari section, which to my mind is the finest. But the largest section, the Rajasthani, is also the most uneven. The popular prints from the 20th century are a little incongruous and speak more of the collector’s zeal in acquiring works of art, particularly those relating to Sikh history.

I would recommend a tour of the museum with this book in hand.

Subscribe to Outlook’s Newsletter

Next Story : Thrice Divided
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
Online Casino Betway Banner



Advertisement

OUTLOOK TOPICS :

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

or just type initial letters