‘Wonderful . . . A book to make both layman and connoisseur alike realize why pre-modern Indian painting is one of the great arts of the world’ Neil Macgregor - Director of the British Museum
From India’s greatest art historian comes a masterpiece for the general reader on understanding and appreciating Indian painting.
B.N. Goswamy's ‘The Spirit of Indian Painting’ has 101 great paintings and combines storytelling with deep scholarship to bring to life painters, patrons, techniques, tools and themes.
The Spirit of Indian Painting
Close Encounters with 101 Great Works: 1100-1900
A few images from the book
In this magnificent, lavishly illustrated book, renowned art historian B.N. Goswamy opens readers’ eyes to the wonders of Indian painting, and shows them new ways of seeing 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 different regional styles, the relationship between patrons and painters, the tools and techniques the painters used and the milieu in which they created their works.
The second part of this book,‘Close Encounters with 101 Great Works’, presents paintings carefully selected by Prof. Goswamy, spanning nearly a thousand years and ranging 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.
‘Prof. Goswamy’s book meets a long-felt need. In all the years that I have been involved with Indian art I have repeatedly been asked to recommend a book which covers the whole subject. This is it. This is it. This is it’ SIR HOWARD HODGKIN - eminent British painter
‘A tour de force . . . The of Indian Spirit Painting serves to engage and “open the eyes” of the viewer to the incredible wonders hidden within these rare gems of art, and does so in language that grips both the informed reader and the uninitiated’ GULAMMOHAMMED SHEIKH - eminent painter
‘B.N. Goswamy combines the eye of the aesthete, the discrimination of a connoisseur and the soul of a poet with the rigorous mind of a scholar and the elegant prose of a gifted writer. The Spirit of Indian Painting may well be his most beautiful and is certainly his most heartfelt work’
WILLIAM DALRYMPLE - author and historian