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.
Ans. Kalighat painting
i. Many of the kalighat pictures were printed in large numbers and sold in the market.
ii. Initially, the images were engraved in wooden blocks.
iii. The carved block was inked, pressed against paper, and then the woodcut prints that were produced were coloured by hand.
iv. In this way, many copies could be produced from the same block.
v. 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.
Ans. Importance of ‘History Painting’
i. This was a third category of imperial art.
ii. British victories in India served as rich material for history painters.
iii. These paintings also celebrated the powers and the supremacy of British.
iv. 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.
v. These paintings were painted in order to remember victories and to show British invincible and powerful.
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.
Ans. Features of Portrait paintings
i. Another tradition of art that became immensely popular in colonial India was portrait painting.
ii. The rich and the powerful, wanted to see themselves on canvas.
iii. The existing Indian tradition of painting (portraits) was miniature, whereas colonial portraits were life-size images that looked lifelike and real.
iv. The size of itself projected the importance of the patrons.
v. Portraiture served as an ideal means of displaying the lavish lifestyles, wealth and status that the empire generated.
vi. Many Nawabs too began commissioning oil portraits through European painters.
Ans. Picturesque 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 hands.
About Daniell brothers
i. Thomas Daniell and his nephew William Daniell were the most famous of the artists who painted within this tradition.
ii. These brothers produced some of the most evocative picturesque landscape of Britain’s newly conquered territories in India.
iii. Their oil paintings were exhibited to select audiences and their albums of engravings were eagerly bought up by British public.
iv. These brothers compared a contrast between lives of people of traditional India with that of life under British rule.
v. They represent the traditional life as pre-modern, changeless and motionless.
Ans. Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951), the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore.
i. 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.
ii. 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.
iii. Nandalal (a student of Abanindranath Tagore) and Abanindranath did not simply follow an earlier style.
iv. They modified it and made it of their own. They used shading to give a 3-dimensional effect to the figures.
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