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Description  Akar Prakar invites you to 19th Century Swadeshi Art (Paintings & Prints)

From the mid 18th to mid 19th century, many local artists were patronised by the Company’s Bureaucrats and officers. Some of these paintings are called ‘Dutch Bengal’ or ‘French Bengal’ according to their antecedents. Though the foreigners were pleased by the efforts of the local artists, the latter’s sense of perspective or figure left much to be desired. To correct this, an art school was set up in Calcutta (Calcutta School of Art) in 1854 CE to teach the techniques of painting. The products of this school brought a radical change in the scenario of art in Kolkata from the mid of 19th century, so they have come to be known as the Pre-Bengal School. Both the British rulers and estimable persons of our country started to admit that the artists of this school could form a platform for ‘High Art’.

Formal art educated artists of that time such as Annadaprasad Bagchi was the most advanced, talented and expert in all mediums in this group of artists whose paintings gained the appreciation from intellectuals and art connoisseurs of locally as well as from every corner of the country. He started the Calcutta Art Studio to print in ‘litho’ besides paint in oil and water colour, so that they would be within reach of the people. Soon the small ‘litho’ studios of Kansaripara and Chorbagan started to print many paintings. Their portfolio had patriotic paintings besides mythological or religious paintings. The oil paintings of Bamapada Banerjee were printed in ‘oleograph’ from Germany and captured the market of Kolkata. Entering the 20th century, these pictures existed only for three decades. In the mean time, under the leadership of Abanindranath Tagore, the artists of Bengal School introduced Indian art to the world, consequently making it more modern.

Some rare oil, litho and oleograph paintings of the Pre-Bengal School from 19th century are collected here. Besides the paintings, the litho prints and oleographs also reveal the trends of the Pre-Bengal School. The litho prints and oleographs are also the works of the famous artists of that period that prove their artistry. With the paintings of that and later periods, there are the oleographs of Bamapada Banerjee besides the litho prints of Calcutta Art Studio and Kansaripara Art Studio.

Curated by Ashit Paul
Ashit Paul (1950) is a senior artist of West Bengal, his personal interest took him to writing and publishing rigorously researched books on woodcut like Woodcut prints of Nineteenth Century Calcutta (Seagull Publication, 1983) and Unis sataker kath khodai shilpi Priyagopal Das (Signet Books, 2013). Many write up on research based subjects mainly on 19th century woodcut prints, litho prints and art of early Calcutta. Edited periodicals like Artist and Samakalin Kolkata. He has done documentation on the ‘Native Arts of Chitpur and allied area of Calcutta’ under Lalit Kala Akademi and West Bengal dance Drama Music and Visual Arts from 2013 to 2015. Many art activities in Kolkata took him known to common people as well as art connoisseurs from many years. He has participated many National Exhibitions and Triennial India. He also knew as social activist. He was member of the General Council, Lalit Kala Akademi from 2008-2012.

Date – 1 To 15 October ( Sundays and  public holidays closed)
Time – 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Venue – Akar Prakar Art Advisory, 1st Floor 29 Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi 110016
Entry – Free