Volume 40 Number 4, September 1989
India – A Pageant of Prints (Reprint 2006)
|Specifications:||240 pages, 210 illustrations|
|Dimensions:||324 x 241 mm|
This volume covers a wide range of interesting subjects, architecture, landscape, flora and fauna, people, costumes, and customs, to mention only a few. They convey the tremendous pictorial richness of prints, engravings, and lithographs relating to India which had a wide market in 18th–19th-century British India.
Pauline Rohatgi, formerly Curator of Prints and Drawings at the India Office Library, has specialized in prints of British artists in India. She has written several publications on the subject.
Pheroza Godrej, an art specialist in Bombay, is currently preparing a catalogue of topographical prints of India in collaboration with Pauline Rohatgi.
Pauline Rohatgi and Pheroza Godrej
The Peoples of India
A Floral Paradise
William Hodges and the Daniells at Agra
The Tipu Mania: Narrative Sketches of the Conquest of Mysore
The Travels of Henry Salt and Lord Valentia in India
Early European Images of the East
John Correia-Afonso, S.J.
Elephanta and Salsette Illustrated: Early Archaeological Studies in Western India
The Beginnings of Printing in Bombay
The Beginning of Lithographic Map Printing in Calcutta
Andrew S. Cook
Sir Charles D’oyly’s Lithographic Press and his Indian Assistants
Jeremiah P. Losty
A Bountiful Ark
Amateur Artists in Western India: James Forbes and Robert Melville Grindlay
Eating Habits of the British in India
Shalini Devi Holkar
Some Monuments of Old Madras
S. Muthiah and Pauline Rohatgi
A Gallery of Governors-General
By definition, a print is an image that has been produced by a technical means which enables it to be multiplied. Such techniques range from the simple lino or potato-cut, through the more complex hand processes of engraving and lithography, to the most sophisticated type of photomechanical colour printing invented to date. Pictorially, the range of subjects when dealing with prints is vast. It includes historical episodes, naval and military events, customs, costumes, social life, caricature, natural history, field sports, and portraiture. In addition, there are topographical views covering architecture and archaeology, besides scenic studies of mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and coastlines. Printed maps and topography may also be included. The subject, the events leading to the production of the particular print, or indeed any form of printing and the role of people involved in the process is fascinating. The article discusses in detail the prints of India, the lettering, and the techniques.
The concept of the picturesque played a vital part in British art in the 18th century. Several treatises were published which discussed and clarified the meaning of the term. Numerous prints illustrating a great range of subjects reflecting these interests, were published mainly for the benefit of the British public in England and for those resident in India. Most professional artists working in India were largely concerned with the landscape. However, a number, especially among the amateur artists, were interested in the costume, customs, and occupations of the Indian people. These too formed the subjects of engravings and lithographs published in England and occasionally in India. This article discusses the many artists depicted the people of India.
This article gives an overview of the history of Indian flora and botany during the years of European rule, along with its development in the field of natural history painting and prints. It lists the role of the Portuguese and the Dutch in the development of the botanical field. It also discusses the promotion of botany in India, lithography and botanical illustration, and the role of individual artists and naturalists that promoted the pictorial depiction of Indian plants.
Although many Europeans had already visited Agra by the latter half of the 18th century, William Hodges (1744-97) was the first professional British landscape painter to arrive there. After returning subsequently to London, he produced a series of aquatint engravings entitled Select Views in India. They were all engraved by Hodges himself, from his own sketches made on the spot in the country. They include 4 views of Agra and its surrounding area. These are discussed in this article. Thomas Daniell, having being granted permission by the East India Company to practise in India "as an engraver", arrived in Calcutta with his teenage nephew, William, in early 1786. The Daniells arrived in Agra on January 20, 1789, 6 years after Hodges. Their views of the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and Akbar's Tomb at Sikandra are discussed in this article.
Historically, politically, and commercially, the conquest of Mysore, the capture of Seringapatam, and the exploits of Tipu Sultan ( 1752-99) have never lost their attraction. This article gives an overview of the artistic representations of the battles of Tipu Sultan against the British and the related events from his life including the many legends and objects associated with him.
Henry Salt and his mentor Lord Valentia visited India on an extended tour which lasted more than 4 years. Salt accompanied Valentia in the capacity of secretary and draughtsman. Their travels resulted in 2 publications. Lord Valentia published his journal in 3 volumes, which contains accounts of their experiences, almost on a daily basis. The 3 volumes are illustrated with over 60 uncoloured engravings after paintings by Salt. William Miller also published a fine set of hand-coloured aquatints after Salt's pictures. Their travels around India and artistic representations are discussed in this article.
The first Europeans to establish themselves in India were the Portuguese. They were also the ones to stay the longest as a colonial power. Thus, it is not surprising that they produced a lot of literary and pictographic material about the country, including some the earliest maps, sketches, and paintings. Although they were among the first to chart the Indian Ocean and to depict Indian life, most of their productions remained long unpublished. The following topics are traced: beginnings of Portuguese printing, mapping the Indian Ocean, and pictures of India.
The island of Elephanta, within easy reach of the settlement at Bombay, attracted many early visitors. Descriptions were published as early as 1596. Yet the only early sketches are those of William Pyke. Even these rough drawings were not published until Alexander Dalrymple rescued them in 1780. The many artists who depicted Elephanta are discussed in this article. They are James Forbes, William Pyke, Carsten Niebuhr, the Daniells, Henry Salt, and James Fergusson.
The introduction of printing in Bombay in around 1772, was entirely a commercial initiative with no missionary or government involvement. The first missionary press in Bombay, the American Mission Press, was not established until as late as March 1817. This article traces the history of printing in Bombay and outlines in particular the close relationship, not always harmonious, between the early commercial presses and the Bombay government.
One of the most notable uses of lithography in the first years after its introduction was in the printing of maps. As survey work increased in British India, and the legitimate demands of the government for maps increased, the prohibition on publication of survey work inhibited the development of any significant body of expertise in engraving and printing. However, in the early 19th century the Bengal government sanctioned a proposal to set up experimentally the Government Lithographic Press in Calcutta and one of the first maps to be printed was a "village map". This article gives an overview of survey work and map printing in India, particularly Calcutta.
In the late 18th century and the first half of the next, many amateur artists in the East India Company's service found innumerable opportunities to record the sights of India. Among them perhaps the most productive was Sir Charles D'Oyly, whose work was greatly influenced by George Chinnery. This article gives an overview of his works and publications as well as his subjects. It also discusses the role of his Indian assistants Jai Ram Das and Shiv Dayal. Enough evidence has been put forward to shed doubt on Charles D'Oyly's sole authorship of all the work. Jai Ram Das and Shiv Dayal may have been the first Indians to produce pictorial lithographs.
This article traces the artistic work and publications of British naturalists working in the field of zoology. It also highlights the role of hunters and bird-watchers including John Gould who produced Birds of Asia. Other artists/naturalists and topics discussed in this article are Patrick Russell, "The Barrackpore Menagerie", Francois Balthazar Solvyns, Field Sports, Edward Lear, Albert Gunther, and "The Amateur Naturalist".
In view of the comparative rarity of topographical material relating to western India dating from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the activities of two amateur artists who were based in Bombay are especially significant. Their sketches resulted in two of the most important books on this region. The first, James Forbes, was an East India Company civilian and the second, Robert Melville Grindlay, served in the Bombay Army. Grindlay was also the founder of the banking house that bears his name. Both men spent almost two decades in the country. As individuals, they seem to have been unusually independent and adventurous. They both responded to the Indian environment in a way that went far beyond its purely visual aspects. Oriental Memoirs by James Forbes was first published in four volumes in 1813. Robert Melville Grindlay's Scenery, Costumes and Architecture, chiefly on the Western side of India, was published between 1826 and 1830 in two volumes, each containing three parts.
An overview of the eating habits of the British in India, based on memoirs, diaries, and illustrations. The underlying theme is that of over-indulgence in two basic pleasures: food and drink. It also seems to have passed through two distinct periods: the pre-memsahib and the memsahib. The first intrepid adventurers and East India Company servants quite often liked the local food they were served in India. However, the etiquette at meals was unabashedly English. Later, during the 19th-century "memsahib" period, criticism of Indian food, Indian servants, Indian kitchens, and Indian dinner parties was to become far more common than praise. As more and more English families in India sought to eat familiar foods from their homeland, imports appeared. By all accounts breakfast was a favourite, rivalled only by tea, as a social occasion.
Fort St George is one of the oldest of the three former British Presidency settlements. This article discusses the development of the Fort and its environs, and the city that was known as Madras. It highlights the important monuments and city landmarks. It also discusses the illustrative material associated with this region.
At the head of the British trading settlements or factories in India was the Governor.This article presents glimpses of the careers of some of these early British "rulers". It is illustrated with portraits of them done during their lifetime and also published as prints in further recognition of their services. From the late 1760s onwards, when the first professional British portrait painter, Tilly Kettle, went to India, portraiture became increasingly fashionable and lucrative. Patrons were forthcoming and the vogue lasted for several decades.