The Revolt of 1857, often called India a First War of Independence, is always to be remembered as a violent opposition of the British rule in India. It launched a new phase in Indian policies and political ideas, and there emerged amongst the people of India a consciousness of belonging to one country. Undoubtedly, the uprising of 1857 was a liberation movement, and today, its relevance lies in its enormous significance as a focus for nationalist sentiment in modern India.
After the definitive history of the revolt by D.P. Chattopadhyaya, Hira Lal Gupta, P.C. Joshi, S.N. Sen, R.C. Majumdar, S.B. Chaudhuri, Bipin Chandra and Eric Strokes, much needed fundamental research and interpretation is added to the earlier accounts of Sir John William Kaye, Sir George Forrest, G.B. Malleson, James J. McLeod Innes, Martin R. Montgomery and Thomas Rice Holems. Today, as the nation observes the 150 anniversary of the revolt of 1857, we naturally wish to have images and visuals of those who rose in arms in the great uprising. Though we have several textual narratives, we have, however, few illustrations of the incidents of the revolt, and of the rebels as individuals.
The present volume illustrated with the contemporary picture of the major events of 1857 commemorates this epic of human race. These historical illustrations thoroughly captivating take us back to their days and invent a feel of the times, and present an evocative portrait of the time through the eyes of a few British artists and eye-witnesses what it looked like to them, how it felt, how it sounded and how it smelt. The illustrations, even if tainted by a sense of vengeance, are by-and-large historical and testify to their sense of realism.
- The revolt
- The spread of revolt
- Ideas and opinions
- Chronology of the events of 1857
- Text of illustrations
About the Author:
S.P. Verma (born in 1942) taught art history at Aligarh Muslim University. His publications include Art and material culture in the Paintings of Akbar s Court (New Delhi, 1978), Mughal Painters and Their work, a Biographical Survey and Comprehensive Catalogue (New Delhi, 1994), Painting, the Mughal Experience (New Delhi, 2005), and numerous articles in academic journals.
Also, he is a practicing artist and the recipient of awards by the Indian Academy of Fine Arts, Amritsar (1981) and the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata (1982). In 1986-87, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and a Senior Fellow (2004-06) at Indian Council of Historical Research, New Delhi. Recently, Verma has organized an exhibition of the British Artists Drawings of the Revolt of 1857 (Prepared under the auspices of ICHR to commemorate the 150th year of the Revolt) at Aligarh (5-9 April, 2007), and New Delhi (2-6 May, 2007).