Thanjavur paintings are among the most popular artworks that adorn the walls of Indian homes—avidly collected but little comprehended. This richly illustrated volume presents an enhanced understanding of the subject through an in-depth study of South Indian paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries in the Thanjavur and the allied Mysuru styles.
The meticulously researched text showcases and engages with Kuldip Singh’s unique collection of 300 paintings. Also included are painted prints, some reverse-glass works and a few lithographs. These cover a wide range of idioms and themes: from the domain of gods and goddesses and the sites and stories associated with their worship, we come down to the realm of their human patrons with portraits made of maharajas, priests and ordinary individuals. We also gain a glimpse of the different regions and schools that come under the larger ambit of the term “South Indian” paintings.
A historical and cultural background provides an overview and context to the material while a description of technique and an analysis of styles highlights an aesthetic appreciation. In addition to a focus on the process of conserving and preserving these works, the book looks at the contemporary status of this form which is experiencing a revival within the art market.