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Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100-1900

Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100–1900

Guy, John, and Jorrit Britschgi
2011
224 pages
165 illustrations
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This vividly illustrated publication features 110 works by many of the most eminent painters in the history of Indian art. These remarkable paintings, dating from 1100 to 1900, were selected according to identifiable artists, and they refute the long-held view of anonymous authorship in Indian art.

Traditionally, Indian paintings have been classified by regional styles or dynastic periods, with an emphasis on subject matter. Stressing the combined tools of connoisseurship and inscriptional evidence, the pioneering research reflected in this book has identified individual artists and their oeuvres through the analysis of style.

The introductory essay outlines the origins of early Indian painting of the first millennium, which set the scene for the development of the art of the book. The sections that follow examine manuscript painting as it evolved from palm-leaf to paper, the emergence of traditional painting as an independent art form, and its demise with the coming of photography. Biographies of the artists whose works appear in this volume and a glossary of their major literary sources provide valuable context.

The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara Expounding the Dharma to a Devotee: Folio from a Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra Manuscript, Mahavihara Master, Opaque watercolor on palm leaf, India, West Bengal or Bangladesh
early 12th century
Green Tara Dispensing Boons to Ecstatic Devotees: Folio from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom)

, Mahavihara Master, Opaque watercolor on palm leaf, India, West Bengal or Bangladesh
early 12th century
The Gopis Plead with Krishna to Return Their Clothing: Folio from "Isarda" Bhagavata Purana, Master of the "Isarda" Bhagavata Purana, Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, North India (Delhi -Agra area)
ca. 1560–65
The Origin of Music: Page from a Tutinama Manuscript, Basawan  Indian, Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, India (Mughal court at Delhi)
ca. 1565–70
"Assad Ibn Kariba Launches a Night Attack on the Camp of Malik Iraj", Folio from a Hamzanama (The Adventures of Hamza), Basavana, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on cloth; mounted on paper
Multiple artists/makers
ca. 1564–69
"A Muslim Pilgrim Learns a Lesson in Piety from a Brahman", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir Khusrau Dihlavi, Amir Khusrau Dihlavi  Indian, Image: Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper<br/>Margins: Gold on dyed paper
Multiple artists/makers
1597–98
"Hamid Bhakari Punished by Akbar", Folio from a Manuscript of the Akbarnama. Folio from the Davis Album, Abu'l Fazl  Indian, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
ca. 1604
"A Youth Fallen From a Tree", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, Aqa Riza  Iranian, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
verso: ca. 1610; recto: ca. 1530
"Great Hornbill", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, Mansur, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
recto: ca. 1540; verso: ca. 1615–20
"Shah Jahan on Horseback", Folio from the Shah Jahan Album, Payag  Indian, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
verso: ca. 1630; recto: ca. 1530–50
The Emperor Aurangzeb Carried on a Palanquin, Bhavanidas, Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
ca. 1705–20
Shiva and Parvati Playing Chaupar: Folio from a Rasamanjari Series, Devidasa of Nurpur, Opaque watercolor, ink, silver, and gold on paper, India (Basohli, Jammu)
dated 1694–95
King Dasaratha and His Retinue Proceed to Rama's Wedding:  Folio from the Shangri Ramayana Series (Style II), Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, India, Punjab Hills, kingdom of Mankot
India, Punjab Hills, kingdom of Mankot
ca. 1690–1710
Maharana Amar Singh II Riding a Jodhpur Horse, Stipple Master  Indian, Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, Western India, Rajasthan, Udaipur
ca. 1700–1710
Rama Releases the Demon Spies Shuka and Sarana: Folio from the Siege of Lanka series
, Manaku  Indian, Opaque watercolor, ink and gold on paper, India, Guler, Himachal Pradesh
ca. 1725
Rama and Lakshmana Overwhelmed by Arrows: Folio from the Siege of Lanka series, Manaku  Indian, Ink on paper, India, Punjab Hills, kingdom of Guler
ca. 1725
Raja Balwant Singh’s Vision of Krishna and Radha, Nainsukh  Indian, Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper, India, Punjab Hills, kingdom of Jasrota
ca. 1745–50
Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana at the Hermitage of Bharadvaja: Illustrated folio from a dispersed Ramayana series, Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, India (Kangra, Himachal Pradesh)
India (Kangra, Himachal Pradesh)
ca. 1780
The Marital Bliss of Nala and Damayanti: Folio from a Nala-Damayanti Series, Ranjha, Ink and opaque watercolor on paper, India (Kangra, Himachal Pradesh)
ca. 1800–10
Fortified City of Ranthambhor, Bagta, Opaque watercolor and ink on paper, India (Jaipur, Rajasthan)
ca. 1810–18
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Guy, John, and Jorrit Britschgi. 2011. Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100-1900. New York : New Haven [Conn.]: Metropolitan Museum of Art ; Distributed by Yale University Press.