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Court Painting in Rajasthan

Andrew Topsfield (Author)
Synopsis From the seventeenth to nineteenth century the patronage of the Rajput rulers of Rajasthan gave rise to a rich profusion of distinctive painting styles, devoted both to the illustration of poetical and religious themes and to royal portraiture and the depiction of court life. Major courts such as Udaipur (Mewar), Bundi and Kota in southeastern Rajasthan, Jodhpur and Bikaner in the west, Amber (Jaipur) and Kishangarh in the northeast, as well as a number of thikanas or courts of the minor nobility, all supported diverse and constantly developing styles, whose broad expressive range encompasses the naturalistic refinement of Mughal and Deccani art as well as vividly robust idioms deriving from the widespread Early Rajput style of the sixteenth century and the folk painting traditions of the region which still endure. The contributors to this book explore various topics of recent research which throw new light on the major (and some minor) Rajasthani schools of painting. The articles by Joachim Bautze and Asok Das survey longer or shorter periods of painting at Bundi, Kota, and Amber, and bring to the fore the evidence of early palace wall-paintings which still survive. Andrew Topsfield and J.P. Losty focus on individual illustrated manuscripts, religious and secular, from seventeenth-century Udaipur and eighteenth-century Uniara, while Debra Diamond considers an unusual group of yogic manuscripts from nineteenth-century Jodhpur. Catherine Glynn explores the influence of Deccani themes at Bikaner, and Rosemary Crill the tradition of court portraiture at Ghanerao. Navina Haidar highlights some bizarrely humorous elements in eighteenth-century Kishangarh painting, while Naval Krishna's genealogical study of Bikaner artist families demonstrates the continuing value of archival research in illuminating the lives of those little known figures, the court painters themselves. Initiated by the pioneering scholar A.K. Coomaraswamy and a few other early writers, the study of Rajasthani court painting could be said to have come to maturity in 1950. In that year Marg published Karl Khandalavala's ground-breaking article "Leaves from Rajasthan". The present volume is offered in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of its subject.
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About the author

Andrew Topsfield

Andrew Topsfield is Curator of Indian Art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.  A specialist in Indian painting studies, he edited the Marg book Court Painting in Rajasthan (2000).  His recent publications include the comprehensive Court Painting at Udaipur (2002).  He has long been interested in Indian games, particularly the history of Snakes and Ladders. 

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Bibliographic information

Title Court Painting in Rajasthan
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2000
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Marg Publications
Language: English
isbn 8185026475
length viii+152p., Map; Col. b/w Plates; index; 29cm.