UPSC History Arts and Cultural Movements NCERT Extracts - The Changing World of Visual Arts

NCERT Extracts - The Changing World of Visual Arts

Category : UPSC

The Changing World of Visual Arts


  • European artists also brought with them the technique of oil painting - a technique with which Indian artists were hot very familiar.
  • One popular imperial tradition was that of picturesque landscape painting.
  • 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.
  • There was a third category of imperial art, called "history painting".
  • This tradition sought to dramatise and recreate various episodes of British imperial history, and enjoyed great prestige and popularity during the late eighteenth.
  • In Mysore, Tipu Sultan not only fought the British on the battlefield but also resisted the cultural traditions associated with them.
  • He continued to encourage local traditions, and had the walls of his palace at Seringapatam covered with mural paintings done by local artists. This painting celebrates the famous battle of Polilur of 1780 in which Tipu and Haidar Ali defeated the English troops.
  • In Bengal, around the pilgrimage centre of the temple of Kalighat, local village scroll painters (called patuas) and potters (called kumors in eastern India and kumhars in north India) began developing a new style of art.
  • In fact, what is specially to be noted in these early Kalighat paintings is the use of a bold, deliberately non-realistic style, where the figures emerge large and powerful, with a minimum of lines, detail and colours.
  • Raja Ravi Varma was one of the first artists who tried to create a style that was both modem and national. He belonged to the family of the Maharajas of Travancore in Kerala, and was addressed as Raja.
  • In Bengal, a new group of nationalist artists gathered around Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951), the nephew of Rabindranath Tagore.
  • So they 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 in the Ajanta caves.
  • In 1904, Okakura Kakuzo published a book in Japan called The Ideals of the East.
  • He tried to define what modem art could be and how tradition could be retained and modernised. He was the principal founder of the first Japanese art academy.
  • Nandalal Bose was student of Abanindranath Tagore.

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