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Nala and Damayanti: A Great Series of Paintings of an Old Indian Romance

 
B.N. Goswamy (Author) Karan Singh (Foroward)
Synopsis

Three things come magically together in this remarkable series of paintings: a great text, a delectable old romance, and the work of one of the most talented families of painters known to Indian art. The text is the 12th century Naishadhacharita of Sriharsha, one of the last great kavyas of Sanskrit literature. The story, told with the utmost delicacy, centers around the intense love that grew – mutual sights heard of, but yet unseen – between King Nala and Princess Damayanti; and the painter family that produced this exquisitely painted series came from the small principality of Guler in the ‘Pahari’ hills: today’s Himachal Pradesh. The intent of the painter/s was to cover the story in close to 110 paintings, but for reasons unknown, the work was interrupted: only 47 paintings could be completed – all of them now in the collection of the Amar Mahal Museum and Library at Jammu, and here published – the remaining having survived only in the form of highly finished drawings. But none of this interferes in the slightest with the magic that the paintings weave.

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About the authors

B.N. Goswamy

B.N. Goswamy, distinguished art historian, was till recently Professor of Art History at the Punjab University, Chandigarh. A leading authority in the field of Indian painting, his work has been of seminal importance both to the studies of Pahari painting and painting in the Punjab. Among the most significant of his published works are: Pahari Painting, The Family as the Basis of Style (Marg, 1968); Pahari Paintings of the Nala Damayanti Theme (Delhi, 1975); Essence of Indian Art (San Francisco, 1986); Wonders of a Golden Age (Zurich, 1987); Pahari Masters: Court Painters of Northern India (Zurich, 1992); Indian Costumes in the collection of the Calico Museum of Textiles (Ahmedabad, 1993); and Nainsukh of Guler: A great Indian painter from a small Hill State (Zurich, 1997). His most recent work, Painted Visions: The Goenka Collection of Indian Painting, was published by the Lalit Kala Akademi earlier this year. Professor Goswamy has been visiting Professor at the Universities of Heidelberg, Zurich, Pennsylvania, California at Berkeley, California at Los Angeles, and Texas at Austin, and has lectured extensively both in Europe and the U.S., and in India. He has also been responsible for major exhibitions of Indian art in Paris, San Francisco and Zurich.

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Karan Singh

Dr. Karan Singh is senior Professor of applied Pant Biology at A.R.S., Durgapura, Jaipur, a constituent campus of Rajasthan Agricultural University. He has contributed more than 100 research papers, review articles and is the author/editor of several scientific books in English and Hindi. He is member, fellow and office bearer of several academic/research societies. He has guided several scholars for Ph.D. degrees of various universities.

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Bibliographic information

Title Nala and Damayanti: A Great Series of Paintings of an Old Indian Romance
Format Hardcover
Date published: 12.05.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Niyogi Books
Language: English
isbn 9789383098897
length 264p., 230mm x 293mm.