This magnificent, lavishly illustrated book by India’s most eminent and perceptive art historian, B.N. Goswamy, will open readers’ eyes to the wonders of Indian painting, and show them new ways of seeing and appreciating art. An illuminating introductory essay, ‘A Layered World’,explains the themes and emotions that inspired Indian painters, the values and influences that shaped their work, and the unique ways in which they depicted time and space. It describes, too, the characteristics of the different regional styles, the relationship between patrons and painters, the milieu in which they created their works, and the tools and techniques the painters used.
The second part of this book consists of ‘Close Encounters with 101 Great Works’. Carefully selected by Prof. Goswamy and spanning nearly a thousand years, these works range from Jain manuscripts, and Rajasthani, Mughal, Pahari and Deccani miniatures, to Company School paintings. His description and analysis of these works unlock the treasures that lie within them and show us how to ‘read’ each painting, as he points out its finest features, explains its visual vocabulary and symbolism, and recounts the story, legend or event that inspired it.
Combining deep scholarship with great storytelling, this is a book of enduring value that will both educate and delight the reader. It is destined to become a classic.