February 21, 2024

HPAS/Allied Mains 2022 Answer Writing Challenge Day 6 : Model Answer

QUESTION :  “The establishment of the British Empire in the 18th century and the subsequent westernization of India paved the way for a radical change of artistic taste in relations to painting” , Elucidate the statement.  (20 marks 400 words)

Understanding of question: what influence did British emprire had on Indian painting artists. What was the outcome of british imperialism and colonialism on indian art style.   
   
IntroductionUnder British Imperialism, painting in India took on many western characteristics throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The establishment of the British Empire in the 18th century and the subsequent westernization of India paved the way for a radical change of artistic taste, and a new style of art and painting emerged. 
   
Keywords  
   
Main BodyGENESIS OF RADICAL CHANGE

1.      British colonial rule had a great impact on Indian art. Old patrons of art became less wealthy and influential, and Western art more ubiquitous as the British Empire established schools of art in major cities, Eg:- Bombay Art Society .

2.      By 1858, the British government took over the task of administration of India under the British Raj, and the fusion of Indian traditions with European style at this time is evident in a great deal of the artwork from this period.

PAINTING UNDER BRITISH RAJ

In the 18th century, the merchants of the East India Company provided a large market for native art, and a distinct genre of watercolor painting developed known as the Company style.

Radical changes

1.      The Company Style:- In the 18th century, oil and easel painting brought many European artists to India in search of fame and fortune, including Thomas and William Daniel, Joshua Reynolds, George Chinnery, and others. The merchants of the East India Company provided a large market for native art in the 18th century, and a distinct genre of watercolor painting developed that depicted scenes of everyday life, regalia of princely courts, and Indian festivities and rituals. Referred to as the Company style or Patna style, this style of painting flourished at first in Murshidabad and spread to other cities of British India.

2.      The Establishment of Art Schools:-  While the 18th century saw moderate British manifestations of Indian art, monuments, literature, and culture, the attitude in the mid-19th century shifted to one of disregard for Indian art. To propagate Western values in art education along with the colonial agenda, the British established art schools in Calcutta and Madras in 1854 and in Bombay in 1857. After 1857, John Griffith and John Lockwood Kipling came out to India together and headed the Sir JJ School of Art. Griffith was considered one of the finest Victorian painters to come to India, and Kipling went on to head the Mayo School of Arts in 1878.

3.      Raja Ravi Varma:- Raja Ravi Varma (1848–1906) was a remarkable self-taught Indian painter from the princely state of Travancore. He is considered the first of the modernists, and he advocated for the use of Western techniques to develop a new aesthetic in the subjective interpretation of Indian culture. His work was considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art, and it came to play an important role in the development of the Indian national consciousness.

4.      The Bengal School:- As more artists began using Western ideas of composition, perspective, and realism to illustrate Indian themes, others rebelled against these styles. The Bengal School of Art, commonly referred to as the Bengal School, arose in the early 20th century as an avant garde and nationalist movement reacting against the Western academic art styles previously promoted in India. Also known as “Indian style of painting” in its early days, it was led by Abanindranath Tagore  and supported by British art teacher E. B. Havell.

 
   
ConclusionThe Britishers were instrumental in introducing Western culture, education and scientific techniques and various art forms . Through those means, they gave traditional Indian life a jolt and galvanized the life and culture of its people. 
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