Princely Traditions and Colonial Pursuits in India
South Asian artistic traditions were dramatically transformed by the political, social, and economic changes that accompanied India’s passage from native to colonial rule in the nineteenth century. Artists formerly employed by Indian princes came to work for English officials and merchant elites, adjusting their practices to suit their new patrons’ tastes. English artists and expatriates introduced new genres and pictorial styles to India, while foreign demand for Indian luxury items brought about aesthetic transformations in textiles, silver, and other goods. The exhibition explores a complex and fascinating visual history, and brings together rarely-seen artworks from LACMA’s South and Southeast Asian, Costume and Textiles, and European Painting and Sculpture Departments.
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Images: Left: Bedcover or Hanging (Palampore), India, Coromandel Coast for the European Market, 1700–1740 , Cotton plain weave, painted and dyed, Purchased with funds provided by the Costume Council in memory of Mary Hunt Kahlenberg, M.2012.73. Right Top: Arthur William Devis (England, 1762–1822), The Hon. William Monson and His Wife, Ann Debonnaire, c. 1786, Oil on canvas, Gift of Hearst Magazines, 47.29.16. Right Bottom: Chaganlal (India, active 1916–45), Maharana Bhupal Singh (r. 1930–55), India, Rajasthan, Mewar, Udaipur, c. 1940, Opaque watercolor on photograph, and cardboard mount, South and Southeast Asian Acquisition Fund, M.2004.192.