In this beautifully illustrated study, Tryna Lyons combines ethnographic and art historical methods to examine the work and careers of artists in Nathadwara, Rajasthan, India. The religious pilgrimage centre of Nathadwara is home to a large community of traditional artists, who retain sketchbooks and other materials handed down in their families for generations. The old sketchbooks, still used to teach younger generations and to provide established artists with ideas, reveal the connection between contemporary practice and the historical antecedents of the Nathadwara School of painting. Lyons’s innovative approach focuses on analysis of the sketchbooks of five artists active in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reproduced here in detail alongside full-color reproductions of their work and related images. The sketchbooks reveal personal style and innovation, demonstrating the array of choices open to artists in a time of cultural ferment and excitement. A section on women artists documents the careers of successful female exponents of the Nathadwara style. Appendixes include a glossary and a collection of artists’ genealogies, some stretching back 17 generations, recording significant information on artistic activities, commissions, and patronage. “The Artists of Nathadwara” should make us question Orientalist assumptions about tradition and the anonymity of South Asian artisans.
From the Publisher
A richly illustrated look at the lives and careers of North Indian artists that combines ethnographic and art historical methods, and calls into question Orientalist assumptions about tradition and the anonymity of South Asian artisans.The religious pilgrimage center of Nathadwara is home to a large community of traditional artists, who retain sketchbooks and other materials handed down in their families for generations.