Goswamy, B. N. & Dallapiccola, A. L.
A Place Apart: Painting in Kutch, 1720-1820



A Place Apart: Painting in Kutch, 1720-1820

The important body of work produced in the western Indian state of Kutch between the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries reveals in the most dramatic fashion the direct impact of western conventions of art, in both subject matter and treatment.

The exact replicas of oil portraits, of engravings depicting river side scenes, a terraced garden, or great buildings about a square (subjects entirely new to the painter in the Indian tradition) displayed the technical virtuosity of the painter in portraying western and unknown modes of activity.

The most important aspect of this cultural impact is the new vision it created for the painter: new ways of seeing and reacting to the landscape and buildings amongst which he lived. This school of painting makes clear that the painters in Kutch responded far more creatively to startlingly different western conventions of perspective, use of colour, of visual depth, of subject, than many painters in India (who created what is popularly known as the Company school) were fortunate enough to do.

As the authors point out in their detailed and authoritative introduction, we can as yet merely speculate on the identity of these painters, and the kind of work that was done in Kutch earlier; but they have provided an invaluable historical and cultural background which provides the perspective for a true appreciation of these glorious paintings.

B. N. Goswamy & A. L. Dallapiccola, Oxford University Press, 1983

Hardcover. Blue cloth binding. Minor wear to the edges of the dust jacket. Previous owners name inscribed on first page. Otherwise unmarked. A tight copy. Very good condition.