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Books > Art and Architecture > Tanjavur Painting of the Maratha Period
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Tanjavur Painting of the Maratha Period
Tanjavur Painting of the Maratha Period
Description
About the Book

This book is a general account of the painting of the period when Tanjavur was under Maratha rule. It was a time of turmoil and change, notable for the strands of many different cultures which met and stimulated art in this small territory. Numerous forms arose, some traditional, others showing the assimilation of contemporary ideas. It was an exotic heterogeneous flowering reflecting the demands of different kinds of patrons and the versatility, skill and open-mindedness of the artists.

The painting of this period is dealt with showing its connections to South Indian Art in general and also its responses to the impact of Western ideas. I t is a tribute to the people of the South and their traditions that even in a period of comparative instability, wars, famine and confusion there was still a need and a desire for objects of art. The era is characteristically eclectic but its painting mirrors the faith, the values and the requirements of the people.

So far the visual art of this period have not received much attention. It is hoped that this study will lead one to see that art was an important facet of southern culture as a whole.

About the Author

The author, mt. Jaya ppasamy is an artist and critic. Born in Madras in 1918 she studied art in Santiniketan, in China, where she was a Government of India scholar, and in Oberlin College, USA, where she took her master's degree.

Smt. Appasamy taught for a number of years in the College of Art, ew Delhi. She was Editor, Lalit Kala Akademi, till she retired in 1976. Since then she has been occupied with research and painting.

Smt. Jaya Appasamy has written extensively on the con- temporary and ancient art of India. Her work includes the introdutory texts of the mono- graphs on Ram Kinkar and ailoz Mookherjea. Her books, Abanindranath Tagore and the Art if His Times and An Introduction to Modern Indian Sculpture are acknow- ledged to be authoritative works on their subjects.

Smt. Appasamy has travelled to many countries for study and research. he is a member of the International ssociation of Art Critis Paris.

Preface

Tanja Vur painting of the Maratha period is a unique school though it cannot be considered a great or inspiring phase of Indian art. I have chosen it for study because very little writing on this period exists and also because it poses some interesting problems of style. Tanjavur from the seven- teenth to nineteenth centuries was a traditional kingdom confronted by new ideas and forms, some from north India, others from the alien West. The way in which artists assimilated or reacted to those ideas and the nature of the art that resulted is the theme of this monograph. Perhaps the manifestations of such a complex milieu cannot as yet be fully or finally explored; in an introductory study such as the present one, more questions may be raised than can be answered. Nevertheless, I believe the focusing of attention on different aspects of the subject may be of value in under- standing a hitherto neglected part of our art history and art.

I have based my study on actual works of art and have found hardly any con- temporaneous written statements that could confirm my conjectures or give information about dates or authorship. These may appear in time as further research progresses and the archives of the Tanjavur rajas in the Modi script become available for study. The main portion of my thesis will therefore be directed towards a description and evaluation of the style or styles of painting that arose and a discussion of their charac- teristics. I am not including any account of Indian aesthetics or of Hindu icono- graphy as there is an extensive and authoritative literature available on both these subjects.

A fairly large number of works of this school still exist. Some are being used in worship; others, no doubt, are stored away and perhaps a sizable portion has been destroyed. I am therefore illustrating the text with a few typical examples that I have been able to have photographed. Neither the illustrations nor the paintings discussed in the text are exhaustive; they are prototypes of a wider family. It is both an advantage and a disadvantage to study uncharted ground. I present this monograph in the hope that my finding may be of use and interest to others in the field.

The bibliography does not directly deal with the subject, but includes works which I have found helpful in providing a framework for my thoughts. The area covered is largely one of ideas rather than of factual data.

Contents

PrefaceVII
AcknowledgementsIX
IllustrationsXI
1Pattern and Change1
2Tanjavur: The Cultural Milieu7
3Historical Background15
AForerunners15
BThe M aratha Kings of Tanjavur18
4Paintings22
AIntroduction22
BSacred Paintings in the Gilded Technique29
CPortraiture45
DMurals60
EPaintings on Unusual Media68
FIllustrations81
5Conclusion88
AComparisons88
BEvaluation94
Notes101
Appendix: Collections110
Bibliography113
Index119

Tanjavur Painting of the Maratha Period

Item Code:
NAD711
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1980
Size:
10.0 inch X 7.5 inch
Pages:
135 (39 B/W & 11 Color Illustrations)
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 610 gms
Price:
$35.00   Shipping Free
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About the Book

This book is a general account of the painting of the period when Tanjavur was under Maratha rule. It was a time of turmoil and change, notable for the strands of many different cultures which met and stimulated art in this small territory. Numerous forms arose, some traditional, others showing the assimilation of contemporary ideas. It was an exotic heterogeneous flowering reflecting the demands of different kinds of patrons and the versatility, skill and open-mindedness of the artists.

The painting of this period is dealt with showing its connections to South Indian Art in general and also its responses to the impact of Western ideas. I t is a tribute to the people of the South and their traditions that even in a period of comparative instability, wars, famine and confusion there was still a need and a desire for objects of art. The era is characteristically eclectic but its painting mirrors the faith, the values and the requirements of the people.

So far the visual art of this period have not received much attention. It is hoped that this study will lead one to see that art was an important facet of southern culture as a whole.

About the Author

The author, mt. Jaya ppasamy is an artist and critic. Born in Madras in 1918 she studied art in Santiniketan, in China, where she was a Government of India scholar, and in Oberlin College, USA, where she took her master's degree.

Smt. Appasamy taught for a number of years in the College of Art, ew Delhi. She was Editor, Lalit Kala Akademi, till she retired in 1976. Since then she has been occupied with research and painting.

Smt. Jaya Appasamy has written extensively on the con- temporary and ancient art of India. Her work includes the introdutory texts of the mono- graphs on Ram Kinkar and ailoz Mookherjea. Her books, Abanindranath Tagore and the Art if His Times and An Introduction to Modern Indian Sculpture are acknow- ledged to be authoritative works on their subjects.

Smt. Appasamy has travelled to many countries for study and research. he is a member of the International ssociation of Art Critis Paris.

Preface

Tanja Vur painting of the Maratha period is a unique school though it cannot be considered a great or inspiring phase of Indian art. I have chosen it for study because very little writing on this period exists and also because it poses some interesting problems of style. Tanjavur from the seven- teenth to nineteenth centuries was a traditional kingdom confronted by new ideas and forms, some from north India, others from the alien West. The way in which artists assimilated or reacted to those ideas and the nature of the art that resulted is the theme of this monograph. Perhaps the manifestations of such a complex milieu cannot as yet be fully or finally explored; in an introductory study such as the present one, more questions may be raised than can be answered. Nevertheless, I believe the focusing of attention on different aspects of the subject may be of value in under- standing a hitherto neglected part of our art history and art.

I have based my study on actual works of art and have found hardly any con- temporaneous written statements that could confirm my conjectures or give information about dates or authorship. These may appear in time as further research progresses and the archives of the Tanjavur rajas in the Modi script become available for study. The main portion of my thesis will therefore be directed towards a description and evaluation of the style or styles of painting that arose and a discussion of their charac- teristics. I am not including any account of Indian aesthetics or of Hindu icono- graphy as there is an extensive and authoritative literature available on both these subjects.

A fairly large number of works of this school still exist. Some are being used in worship; others, no doubt, are stored away and perhaps a sizable portion has been destroyed. I am therefore illustrating the text with a few typical examples that I have been able to have photographed. Neither the illustrations nor the paintings discussed in the text are exhaustive; they are prototypes of a wider family. It is both an advantage and a disadvantage to study uncharted ground. I present this monograph in the hope that my finding may be of use and interest to others in the field.

The bibliography does not directly deal with the subject, but includes works which I have found helpful in providing a framework for my thoughts. The area covered is largely one of ideas rather than of factual data.

Contents

PrefaceVII
AcknowledgementsIX
IllustrationsXI
1Pattern and Change1
2Tanjavur: The Cultural Milieu7
3Historical Background15
AForerunners15
BThe M aratha Kings of Tanjavur18
4Paintings22
AIntroduction22
BSacred Paintings in the Gilded Technique29
CPortraiture45
DMurals60
EPaintings on Unusual Media68
FIllustrations81
5Conclusion88
AComparisons88
BEvaluation94
Notes101
Appendix: Collections110
Bibliography113
Index119
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