Modern Art in India – Part 2


Indian art has been greatly influenced by its rulers. This has led to the creation of abundant distinctive art styles – including the Mughal and Rajput styles. It is a fact that the the modern era of art in India was initiated by the revivalists. They rejuvenated India’s glorious past by depicting Hinduism and other legends and stories in their alluring artwork. The work of many artists is comprised of illustrations of incidents and scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and other Sanskrit plays written by Kalidasa.

There have been a number of painters who can be said to be the Revivalists of Indian art. Raja Ravi Verma is famous for bringing Indian mythological scenes and rural life representation alive on his canvas. Abanindranath Tagore showed the spiritual past of India through his work. Ananda Coomaraswamy re-energized the basic concepts of Indian art. All these artists have been instrumental in ushering in the new era of modern art in India.

As remarked by some modern Artists “Art is uglier when you stand between two styles, not knowing depths of either”. Abanindranath’s art style can be described as “expression without a parallel” and is in a way a continuation of his Uncle Rabindra Nath Tagores’ work which depicts inhuman, incredible shapes, elves and landscapes in amazing synchronization and balance.

Amrita Sher-Gil has developed her own style as she has studied both Indian and Western art styles. She has managed to link Indian and European art through her oils which depict grave miens and some amount of grief. As she once said “On first glance many paintings may not seem Indian but in the true sense of the term, their heart is very much Indian”.

Modern art in India has been constantly transformed by renowned artists like Jamini Roy, Amrita SherGil, Sailoz Mukherjea and of course M.F. Hussain. Hussain’s art has a quality which expresses the humane and expressive side of art. His work is like words which give you a message. There is a galaxy of modern artists who played an important role in revitalizing the modern Indian art scene. Some of them have been portrayed here.

Raja Ravi Verma was born in 1848 in the state of Kerala in India and is one of the very well known and admired names amongst the first generation of artists with a western style of work. The impressive career of Raja Ravi Varma is an intriguing example in the study of academic art in India. After his death he was described as one of the most accomplished artists of modern India. He was a nation builder and also showed great moral courage as he was high born and took to the profession of painting which was considered to be degrading in those times. He was courted diligently by the British and also the Indian Maharajas for his exemplary work in the field of art. Even today his work is very sought after and you can see a number of replicas being made.

Maqbool Fida Husain is perhaps India’s most well-known and also the most controversial artist of modern times. He is known for his eye-catching portrayal of Indian women. He is a versatile person, who has made movies and also served a term in the Indian parliament. His has a passion for Indian music, movies, jewelry, photography and literature as well. Other than being a great Indian painter, he has created gorgeous designs in tapestry and jewelry.

Source by Tracy Hargraves

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