This richly illustrated book is the first detailed study of the technique of Indian painting with an emphasis on the particulars for crafting of Pahari paintings of the Basohli, the Guler and the Kangra styles. After Moti Chandra’s The Technique of Mughal painting, 1949, numerous articles on various aspects of this subject had appeared in the long intervening period.
The author presents here a comprehensive account of the technique, the methods and the materials used in painting, miniatures and murals, based on field work, studying all aspects of the technique as followed by several master painters in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh and discusses analytically the existing literature on the subject. Having consulted most of the important collections of Indian painting in India and abroad, he relates the results of his inquiry with the old masterpieces of Pahari painting and includes a large number of such works for the fist time.
The approach of the author, an art historian, is different in this study. An underlying emphasis on the history of Pahari painting is noticeable. He traces the history of the introduction of sketches for the development of drawings used for the execution of paintings in series and corrects a wrongly held view about the drawings bearing names of pigments considered to be original compositions which he suggests are copies done in the nineteenth century, the period of decline of this art form.
Numerous drawings and diagrams are included for illustrating the stylistic developments peculiar to the works of various periods and for explaining other points discussing the details of the technique. He has successfully maintained a freshness in the treatment of a subject of technical nature.
An essay, a background for the present volume by this author, On The Origins of Pahari painting, published by the Institute in 1991, was received well by the scholars of Indian painting. Some additional unpublished material on that subject, and an informative and authoritative introduction mentioning several new facts make this work more valuable. It is useful to the students, researchers, historians of Indian painting and the practising artists and is indispensable for the conservators, the restorers and the collectors of these paintings.
- I. Introduction
- II. Pigments :
- Silver and tin
- Pigments in use in the early twentieth century
- Mixed colours.
- III. Materials :
- Binding media
- Other accessories.
- IV. Miniature painting : method.
- V. Miniature painting : method (Contd.).
- VI. Wall-painting.
- VII. Colour and pattern notes on drawings.
- VIII. Compositions and colours.
- IX. Pahari painter and the Pandit.
- X. Notes on allied matters :
- Illuminated manuscripts
- Painted wood-work
- Painting cloth
- Chamba rumal
- Pictorial work on other materials.
- XI. A sequel to On the Origin of Pahari painting