PAINTING INDIAby Niamh McCooey
In anticipation of our upcoming issue of Selvedge, The Chakra Issue (celebrating India’s 70th year of independence), we’ve decided to feature a comprehensive exhibition now on at the Francesca Galloway gallery in London titled The Allure of India. Featuring a vast collection of Company School Painting from Murshidabad and Patna from 1795 – 1830, this exhibition boasts an impressive selection of artworks that, when gathered together, paint the story of Indian culture through decades of the subcontinent’s rich history.
This show will feature a key focus on two sets of paintings that were once made for British patrons in Bengal and Bihar, reflecting the taste and interests of East-India Company officers who were drawn to what they felt was the romantic novelty of India, and who wished to document this environment which was to them, of course, quite an exotic one. They commissioned pictures of Hindu and Muslim festivals and processions, weddings, court ceremonies as well as architectural monuments and ruins, including the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort in Agra. Each painting was executed by Indian artists, all trained in the style of contemporary British watercolourists.
On display in the gallery until the 7th of July, this exhibition offers an in-depth insight into Indian artistry under colonial rule, and many could argue that there is no gallery better suited to such a sensitive subject. As one of the leading specialists in Indian painting and courtly objects, Francesca Galloway is known internationally for her special expertise, having previously co-authored a number of seminal exhibitions on Islamic art, Indian painting and textiles.
The Allure of India, 22 May - 7 July
Francesca Galloway, 31 Dover Street, London W1S 4ND