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Volume 5 Number 4, July 1952

Volume 5 Number 4

Leonardo Da Vinci Quincentenary

Leonardo da Vinci
Homi J. Bhabha 

Contemporary Architecture (Editorial)

Jehangir Art Gallery
MARG

A Report on the Planning of Bedford
Otto Koenigsberger

Pallava Sculpture
P.V. Pathy 

Kalighat Painting
W.G. Archer 

Tribal Art of Middle India: A Review
S. Dutta 

A Note on the Two Reproductions
John Irwin 

Feliks Topolski
Stefanja Zahorska

Book Reviews

Inauguration of the National Art Treasures Fund

Speeches by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

Exhibitions Notes

Leonardo Da Vinci
Bhabha, Homi
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, 2 unnumbered + pp. i–viii
Leonardo da Vinci, whose 500th birth anniversary fell on April 15, 1952, had a scientific bent of mind, as evident in the 5,000 extant pages of his notebooks. He applied the modern scientific method of experimentation to every field of nature, and had no use for the scholasticism of his age. He is to be credited with original discoveries and inventions in diverse fields: pure science and its applications, civil and military engineering, aviation, human anatomy, and geology. Passages quoted from his notebooks show his power of observation, originality, and fertility of mind. His universality also influenced his art. He was the greatest draughtsman of the Italian renaissance. He studied light and shade, and its effect in revealing form, and was the first to use light and shade to create space around his figures. He also observed the effect of distance on his objects. His principle was the study of man's actions and perfection of design.
Contemporary Architecture [Editorial]
Anand, Mulk Raj
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 1-3

The results of the quest for either a "modern" or "Indian" architecture are most unfortunate. There are many examples of the latter kind in Bombay. It is meaningless to distinguish contemporary designs from those of other periods by calling them "modern". The lack of good contemporary architecture in India is because architecture, in recent times, is held synonymous with decoration. Factors hindering the growth of such an architecture are the decline of Indian taste and its replacement by a hybrid Indo-European taste, and importation of foreign art; Indian people and conditions - are ignored. It is important to create an architecture based on the principle of Indian design, and architects entrusted with planning for the masses. The planning of New Delhi, which is contrary to good city planning practice, epitomizes trends of Indian architecture in the last 50 years. Recently, the Indian "national" spirit has asserted itself in the form of Birla Mandir, where details from different parts of Indian history have been slapped together to form an incongruous whole. It is a tragedy that the work of prima donnas like Lutyens is remembered and copied, while the lessons of Bel Geddes - who studied Indian people and conditions are ignored. It is important to create an architecture based on the principle of Indian design, and suited to our contemporary requirements. This should also encourage our traditional crafts and skills, and use scientific techniques.

Jehangir Art Gallery
Marg
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 4-12
This gallery in Bombay was designed by D.S. Bajpai and G.M. Bhuta. It is planned in three sections: auditorium-cum-exhibition hall, main exhibition gallery, and general circulation space and services. Among the interesting architectural features are its lighting by clerestoried windows along the exhibition spaces, the structure of the building, the treatment of blank wall surfaces, the stonework pattern, and the corrugated canopy over the entrance. Despite the disadvantage of encroaching on the limited green space in the heart of the city, the building is a neat and genuine attempt to create a contemporary indigenous architecture.
A Physician's Report
Koenigsberger, Otto
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, p. 13
The report, submitted by Otto Koenigsberger and published by the Max Lock Group, is on the town planning of Bedford. It describes the growth of the town, identifies the problem of unbalanced growth, and proposes solutions such as the development of roads and bridges, population groupings, amenities, and recreation facilities.
Pallava Sculpture
Pathy, P.V.
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 14-21

The rock temples, carvings, and sculptures - some of which are illustrated here - of Mammalapuram on the Coromandel Coast are prime examples of Pallava art, starting with the time of Mahendra Varman I (early 6th century). The rounded gables, motifs, and ornamental carvings of the temples are reminscent of Buddhist art. They are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, and Surya.

Kalighat Painting
Archer, W.G.
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 22-29
The emergence, development, and decline of the school is traced through the years 1830 to 1930 in four phases. Executed by patua or bazaar artists for pilgrims to the Kalighat temple in Calcutta, the school was influenced in its first phase by Anglo-Indian art. However, the influence was through casual inspection rather than direct training in the British technique. This influence weakened in the second phase (1850-70), marked by sharper organization and more brilliant colour schemes. The third phase was one of crisis in the face of competition from cheap lithographs, and execution was characterized by a bold rude energy and tendency towards simplification in an attempt to increase production. The phase also expressed the traditional Indian ideal of the human form with sweeping curves, and extension of subject matter. The final phase (1890-1930) continued with bold simplification in a desperate attempt to cheapen production, but the times prevented any prolonged survival.
Tribal Art of Middle India: A Review
Dutta, S.
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 30-34
An assessment of Verrier Elwin's personal record of life in aboriginal India by Sudhindranath Datta, it includes an extract from a report of the speech by Jawaharlal Nehru at the inauguration of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Areas Conference.
A Note on the Two Reproductions
Irwin, John
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 35-36

The note and plates (showing a Hornbill and a Game-cock) are reproduced from Lilliput, London. The Hornbill was painted by Ustad Mansur in the time of Jahangir, while treatment of the Game-cock exhibits a departure from naturalism and points to a later origin (probably about 1790).

Feliks Topolski
Zahorska, Stefanja
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 37-41
The writer evaluates the predominant traits in the drawings and paintings of Feliks Topolski, who was commissioned to paint a gigantic mural painting representing "The Cavalcade of the Commonwealth" at the Festival of Britain.
Books
Chatterji, R. and Driberg, T.
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 42-43

Reviews of Chughtai's Indian Paintings by R. Chatterji and a book on paintings by Bhabani Charan Gue by T. Driberg.

Inauguration of the National Art Treasures Fund
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 43-46
Translation of the speech in Hindi by Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and the speech by Jawaharlal Nehru.
Exhibitions
K.K. and A.S.R.
Vol. 5 No. 4, July 1952, pp. 47-49

1952. In Bombay, the Arts Society of India's exhibition, Satwalakar, Soviet art, by K.K. In Delhi, the Hyderabad Art Exhibition and Delhi Silpi Chakra.