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 40 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 and a glossary of their major literary sources provide valuable context. The book is a companion volume to the exhibition on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from September 2011 to January 2012, prior to which it was at Museum Rietberg.