The sights and colours of India, through the eyes of foreign artists, will come to Bangalore on April 9 as ‘Indian Life and Landscape by Western Artists: Paintings and Drawings from the V&A 1790-1927' reaches its final destination in India.
The exhibition showcases 93 works — paintings and drawings by 33 western artists from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Animated scenes from everyday street life in the 1850s, representations of the picturesque landscapes of the 1790s and images of iconic structures such as the Taj Mahal and the Kailasanatha temple at Ellora through splashes of water colour are some of the creations to look forward to.
The exhibition will be displayed chronologically in four sections. The first will show the picturesque tour of India undertaken by the first European artists to visit the country — Thomas and William Daniell, who, based on direct observation, explored how European aesthetic ideals were applied to Indian subject matter.
The two artists travelled widely across India between 1785 and 1794 painting temples, tombs and landscapes. Flemish artist Balthazar Solvyns' depictions of India's zestful festivals are also on display.
The second section will have works by amateur artists ranging from landscapes to caricatures of European society in India. The 19th century display is dominated by romanticised images of architectural landmarks. The exhibition concludes with realism and the Indian student, which explores the work of two British artists John Griffiths and John Lockwood Kipling, who taught in European-style art schools across India in the mid nineteenth century. Their well-observed and precise studies of craftsmen and street scenes influenced a generation of Indian students. The exhibition has been organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in collaboration with the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Bangalore, and the British Council. It will be on till May 23 at the NGMA, Palace Road, Bangalore.