Sunday, 4 October 2009

Inspiration: Indian Miniature Painting

I love Indian miniatures, for their unexpectedly pleasing colour and pattern combinations, incredible detail and compositions which challenge western eyes long accustomed to perspective. I have owned and loved a copy of Indian Painting by Douglas Barrett and Basil Gray (Skira, Geneva 1978) for over fifteen years but (sshhh!) I have never read a word of it. So unfortunately I know nothing about their iconography or social context.

I have bravely reproduced some of my favourite pictures here anyway. The captions are as they appear in the book too, except that I have changed the measurements from inches to centremetres. Above: Madhu-Malati: The Resourceful Lover. Bilaspur Style, Kulu Valley, dated 1799 (15.5 x 12 cm), p. 192. What bold contrasts of colour and pattern! One could easily design an entire range of very 'now' textiles based on the beautiful patterns in this work. Hmmm...

Above: Lady Listening to Music. Guler Style, Jammu, about 175o. (25.5 x 21.5 cm), p. 181.

Above: The Approaching Storm. Guler Style, about 1750 - 1760. (15 x 23 cm) British Museum, London, p. 175.

Above: After the Bath. Bundi School, about 1775. (15 x 22 cm) Allahabad Museum, p. 148. Does this look familiar to anyone who has used the facilities at my house? A little framed photocopy of this lives in the bathroom.



Above: Lalita Ragini (from a Ragamala), painted by Sahibdin. Mewar School, Udaipur 1628. (15 x 21.5 cm) Khajanchi Collection, Bikaner, p. 135. The composition! The bold contrasting colours! That dark red against the yellow! The horse, a rather strange breed with a pretty horizontal pattern! I could stare at it forever. Even better, I could visit Bikaner and see the real thing.

2 comments:

What Kate did next ... said...

I love the one where they look as if they're giving each other a high five.

Sandra Eterovic said...

Ha! They do too!!