Modern Indian Paintings
- Many consider that the modern period in Indian art began around 1857 with the Bengal School of Painting.
- Raja Ravi Varma is credited as the Father of Modern Indian Art.
- The essential characteristics of the modern or contemporary art are a certain freedom from invention, the acceptance of an eclectic approach, a positive elevation of technique and the emergence of the artist as a distinct individual.
- The Bengal school of art relying on India’s rich cultural past, resurrected primitivism as a reaction to Western influence.
- This was started by Abanindranath Tagore as an attempt to stem the western influence on Indian culture.
Schools of Modern Painting in India
- It is a hybrid painting style, combining Rajput, Mughal, and other Indian painting styles with European influences.
- These were the results of British Company officers hiring painters who had been schooled in Indian styles.
- They were set apart by their use of water colour and the appearance of linear perspective and shading in technique.
- These types of paintings ultimately came to be known as ‘Company Paintings’.
- They differed from the Company paintings in that the company paintings combined European and Indian methods and themes.
- However, Bazaar school was influenced by Roman and Greek culture rather than Indian culture.
- The depiction of Indian courtesans dancing before British officials was one of the most well-known genres.
Raja Ravi Varma:
- Raja Ravi Varma was a remarkable self-taught Indian painter from the princely state of Travancore in modern day Kerala.
- He is widely regarded as the founder of the contemporary painting school.
- He was unique in that he combined elements of South Indian art with western colour and style techniques.
- Because of his bright brush strokes and extremely lifelike paintings, he was dubbed the “Raphael of the East”.
- He is most remembered for his paintings of beautiful sari-clad women, who were portrayed as shapely and graceful.
- Varma became the best-known allegorist of Indian subjects in his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana.
The Bengal School
- The Bengal School arose as a reaction against the western influence in the artistic and cultural sphere of the country.
- The Bengal school was founded on the writings of Abhanindranath Tagore in the early twentieth century.
- He attempted to infuse Swadeshi values into Indian art and to lessen the influence of Western art styles on artists.
- Bharat Mata and other Mughal-themed paintings are among his most well-known works.
- Nandlal Bose is another renowned painter from this school, whose works influenced the development of modern Indian art.