Fine Choice of the Indian Art for You

At the height of the colonial period, the Calcutta school represents a decisive and firm response to European influence and stimulates Indian painting by proposing a return to traditional roots. Abanindranath Thakur, (Tagore, 1871-1951), the nephew of the poet Rabindranath Tagore, closely studied traditional Indian painting and attracted the attention of numerous artists, in the name of the new Indian nationalism, inspired by the ancient Hindu treatises.  A part of Indian art comes perfect from this route.

The Indian Society of Oriental Artw

Aided by the Indian Society of Oriental Art founded in 1905, he aroused a new interest in the traditional values ​​of Hindu art and, starting in 1908, he organized an exhibition of watercolors and gouaches in the “cultural” Indian capital. He founded the Bengal art school which turned out to be an extraordinary amalgamation of Indian and European inspirations, playing among the Mughal miniatures, Chinese and Japanese watercolors and the so-called “modern style”. Although few prominent artists came out of this school whose main merit was to try to give back to Indian art the originality it had lost, however, some figures tried to indicate a way, Jamini Roy (1887-1972) tried to modernize Ajanta’s style by painting scenes from the life of Bengal styling boldly shapes and colors and adopting a sort of “naive naivety” that soon became a pictorial system.

  • Amrita Sher-Gil (died 1941) succeeded him: after studying in Paris he tried to modernize folk art, describing only popular subjects while Rabindranath Tagore, imitating Victor Hugo, decorated his poems with ink splashes, often abstract , but which had the merit of giving more importance to the imagination than to technical research. After India’s independence in 1947, numerous painters went to study in London and Paris and imbued themselves with modern styles, integrating more or less into the Parisian school or to the different movements that made French painting famous.
  • Some returned to India where they gradually acquired a reputation that earned them an international consecration. Among the pleiad of artists with different styles we cite Satish Gujral who enjoyed himself in the geometric and bilateral forms with an anthropomorphic meaning with almost mechanical models, and Biren De who reached the tantric art in his compositions that recall mandala and yantra with deep and luminous colors.
  • Ghulam Muhammad Shaikh painted aspects of contemporary life in often intense allegories, using flat and contrasting tones, similarly to Vivan Sunderam we remember the often revolutionary collages.
  • Overall, modern Indian art attempts to look at the contemporary world by seeking inspiration within itself even if it is still irresistibly attracted by Western schools, without being able to completely get rid of them.

Indian sculpture between modernity and modernism

Santhal Family – Ramkinkar Baji

The new direction of Indian sculpture during the pre-independence period emerged outside the influence of the academic European realism. With the inevitable European influence and the foundation of art schools, Indian sculpture opens up new directions and new experiments. While some of the artists tend to imitate European style, others interact with it in a more intimate way.

The result that is obtained of the style defined for the Indo-European occasion, is translated into Indian subjects that fall into the European sculptural idioms or sculptures with a predominantly Western style that have a vivid Indian sensibility. Some sculptors reacted against the westernization process and tried to revive traditional Indian forms, obtaining hybrid sculptures that gained popularity among the princely states, the zamindars and the influential communities of the new urban society.