Changing World of Visual Arts
Q24. Describe the paintings done by Robert Ker Porter on the
battle of Seringapatam.
Ans. The celebration of British military triumph can
be seen in the many paintings of the battle of Seringapatam (now
Srirangapatnam). Tipu Sultan of Mysore was one of the most powerful enemies of
the British. He was finally defeated in 1799 at the famous battle of
Seringapatam. In the paintings done by Robert Ker Porter on the battle of
Seringapatam, the British troops are shown storming the fort from all sides,
cutting Tipu’s soldiers to pieces, climbing the walls, raising the British flag
aloft on the ramparts of Tipu’s fort. It is a painting full of action and
energy. The painting dramatises the event and glorifies the British triumph.
Q25. Describe the evolution of Kalighat painting.
Many of the kalighat pictures were printed
in large numbers and sold in the market.
Initially, the images were engraved in
The carved block was inked, pressed against
paper, and then the woodcut prints that were produced were coloured by hand.
In this way, many copies could be produced
from the same block.
By the nineteenth century, mechanical
printing presses were set up in different parts of India, which allowed prints
to be produced in even larger numbers. These prints could easily be sold
cheaply in the market.
Q26. What was the importance of ‘History Painting’?
Importance of ‘History Painting’
This was a third category of imperial art.
British victories in India served as rich
material for history painters.
These paintings also celebrated the powers
and the supremacy of British.
One of the paintings were produced by
Francis Hayman in 1762 and placed on public display in the Vauxhall Gardens in
London. For Example:-He had drawn a painting of Robert Clive being welcomed by
Mir Jafar after the battle of Plassey.
These paintings were painted in order to
remember victories and to show British invincible and powerful.
Q27. What changes could be seen after the 1840's in the Kalighat
Ans. After the 1840s, there was a new trend within the
Kalighat artists. Living in a society where values, tastes, social norms and
customs were undergoing rapid changes, Kalighat artists responded to the world
around, and produced paintings on social and political themes. Many of the late
nineteenth-century Kalighat paintings depict social life under British rule.
Often the artists mocked at the changes they saw around, ridiculing the new
tastes of those who spoke in English and adopted Western habits, dressed like
sahibs, smoked cigarettes, or sat on chairs. They made fun of the westernised
baboo, criticised the corrupt priests, and warned against women moving out of
their homes. They often expressed the anger of common people against the rich,
and the fear many people had about dramatic changes of social norms.
Q28. What are the features of Portrait paintings?
Features of Portrait
Another tradition of art that became
immensely popular in colonial India was portrait painting.
The rich and the powerful, wanted to see
themselves on canvas.
The existing Indian tradition of painting
(portraits) was miniature, whereas colonial portraits were life-size images
that looked lifelike and real.
The size of itself projected the importance
of the patrons.
Portraiture served as an ideal means of
displaying the lavish lifestyles, wealth and status that the empire generated.
Many Nawabs too began commissioning oil
portraits through European painters.
Q29. What is Picturesque? Describe about the famous Daniell
is a style of painting depicting India as a quaint land, to be explored by travelling
British artists; its landscape was rugged and wild, seemingly untamed by human
Thomas Daniell and his nephew William
Daniell were the most famous of the artists who painted within this tradition.
These brothers produced some of the most
evocative picturesque landscape of Britain’s newly conquered territories in
Their oil paintings were exhibited to
select audiences and their albums of engravings were eagerly bought up by
These brothers compared a contrast between
lives of people of traditional India with that of life under British rule.
They represent the traditional life as
pre-modern, changeless and motionless.
Q30. Who was Abanindranath? Why did he turn to medieval Indian
traditions for inspirations?
Ans. Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951), the nephew of
A new group of national gathered around Abanindranath
Tagore. They rejected the works of Ravi Verma and declared his style unsuitable
for depicting the ancient myths and legends of the nation.
The group broke away from the convention of
oil painting and the realistic style, and turned for inspiration to medieval
Indian traditions of miniature painting and the ancient art of mural painting
of Ajanta Caves.
Nandalal (a student of Abanindranath Tagore)
and Abanindranath did not simply follow an earlier style.
They modified it and made it of their own.
They used shading to give a 3-dimensional effect to the figures.