“Indian Historical Monuments in Company Painting School” exhibition begins in National Museum

An exhibition on “Indian Historical monuments in Company Painting School” has opened at the Ajanta Hall in the National Museum here.
The exhibition, inaugurated by Additional Secretary, Culture, Sujata Prasad yesterday will go on until August 27. It presents illustrated paintings on Indo-Islamic monuments with scenes of Mughal architecture created with a photo realistic approach.
The National Museum took a new initiative on a “Small Temporary Exhibition” from its reserve collection. The exhibitions will be based on several themes, so that it will attract a large number of visitors to view new artefacts every fortnight.
Through such programmes, the National Museum is trying to draw the visitors' attention and allows them to experience the collection on many significant art pieces of reserve storage, which generally remains out of focus.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, India witnessed a new genre of painting popularly known as ‘Company School’ as it emerged primarily under the patronage of the British East India Company. The British officers trained Indian artists in British water colour style for documenting Indian daily life scene, monuments, art and culture in the form of paintings for carrying out as a souvenir to their homes while returning to the England.
Some of these Company Paintings depict Mughal architecture. As these paintings were part of documentation, most of these monuments were painted in full profile such as Red Fort of Delhi (1639-48 CE) and Taj Mahal (1630-48 CE). A few of them depict only some parts highlighting special features like the interior of the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula.
Among the 12 paintings on display are Chini ka Rauza, Agra (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.9 x 7.4 inch; Buland-Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.9 x 7.4 inch; Gateway of Taj Mahal, Agra (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.8 x 7.4 inch; Sketch of Red Fort, Agra from the riverside (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.8 x 7.3 inch; Railing around the Graves inside the Taj Mahal, Agra (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.9 x 7.3 inch; Akbar’s Tomb, Agra (Company Period, 19th Century) Paper 8.8 x 7.4 inch.
The temporary exhibition from the Reserve Collection of National Museum is formulated to display a variety of objects from the National Museum Reserve Collection for six months. Stuccos from Taxila will be on display in August. The next month, September will have Exploring Seals: Silver, copper, stone seals with bilingual and trilingual inscriptions from the Epigraphy followed by another exhibition on Ornamental Arms and Armour.
October will feature shoes and sandals from Central Asia and Folk objects of Bengal: With special reference to the wooden dolls and sholapitha objects.
November will see Man: the creator, the development of tool making by Early Man. It will deal with early man and the tools they have used during a different time span of evolution. The Calligraphy in the Holy Quran will also be on display in the same month. December will have Western Art in Indian Museum.
The first temporary exhibition at the National Museum was on “Traditional Headgear of India” from the Decorative Arts department inaugurated by Ms Rashmi Verma, Secretary, Culture & Tourism on July 24 at Ajanta Hall (First floor). This exhibition showcased printed turban, embroidered dopalli and Maratha stitched cap and zardozi cap specially designed for occasional and ceremonial occasions.


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