Nathdwara Paintings from the Anil Relia Collection- The Portal to Shrinath Ji

Nathdwara Paintings from the Anil Relia Collection- The Portal to Shrinath Ji

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Book Specification

Item Code: AZE824
Author: Kalyan Krishna and Kay Talwar
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9789389136722
Pages: 268 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 12.00x9.50 inch
Weight 1.47 kg

Book Description

About the Book
Nathdwara, located in the Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan, is home to Shrinathji, a fifteenth century manifestation of the child god Krishna holding up Mount Govardhan. Since the establishment of the haveli (temple mansion) in 1671, artists have flocked to the sacred town to adorn the walls where Shrinathji dwells with painted cloth hangings as well as to provide painted icons for the pilgrimage trade. At one time there were hundreds of artists in the service of Shrinathji.

This catalogue explores Anil Relia's comprehensive collection of Nathdwara paintings and sketches, celebrating the wide-ranging talents of various artists. The painters are creators of icons and storytellers of Krishna's exploits. Krishna Jives in their everyday lives permeating their thoughts and guiding their brushes. At the same time, they record important events in temple history and portraits of the people who participated in these affairs.

The paintings that document festivals adhere to a traditional hieratic style, but the artist displays a freer hand in telling the exploits of Krishna. A prominent artist showcased in this collection is Ghasiram Hardev Sharma, a master draughtsman with a penchant for naturalism. He influenced a whole generation of twentieth-century artists and is still held in high esteem.

About the Author
Kalyan Krishna was Professor and Head of the Department of History of Art at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). His PhD was on Mughal Painting of the Akbar Period from BHU. Formerly Krishna was a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at the University of Syracuse, New York and Curator at the Calico Museum of Textiles, Ahmedabad. Among the major publications that he has co-authored are Indian Costumes in the Collection of the Calico Museum of Textiles and Gates of the Lord: The Tradition of Krishna Painting. Krishna is a follower of Pushti Marg.

Kay Talwar holds an MA in Art History from the University of Michigan. She has co-authored with Kalyan Krishna Indian Pigment Paintings on Cloth, Calico Museum of Textiles, Ahmedabad and In Adoration of Krishna: Pichhwais for Shrinathji, TAPI Collection, Surat.

For many years she has been involved in the Indian community of Los Angeles, promoting and supporting Indian art and cultural activities. She was Chairman of the Southern Asian Art Council at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for six years.

Anil Relia’s collection of Nathdwars painting Align in 1996, when his interest piqued by an unusual sketch. The dwing turned out to be the work of renowned at Chasiram (1069-1931), and its acquisition sent Ahmedabad based Relia off on a journey of exploration and growing connoisseurship, He proceeded to assemble a well-rounded, meticulously authenticated collection comprising examples of the several genres for which this Rajasthani school of art is known A pair of distinguished experts in the field, Kalyan Krishna and Kay Talwar, agreed to prepare a catalogue after taking a look at the significant paintings it would cover. The two scholars have collaborated before, producing catalogues for the Calico Museum (1979) and Tapi Collection (2007).

As the authors detail in their introduction, Nathdwara was until recently a place where time seemed to have been arrested. Eighteenth-century temple traditions and nineteenth-century workshop practice prevailed, and artists seeking to portray the playful activities of the child-god Shrinathji had only to look down their own narrow lanes to see plump cows, mischievous children and marauding monkeys just like those that romped through the narratives they vere painting in their studios. The temple doors were and still are) thrown open at set times, permitting evotees and pilgrims to take a few moments out of day to visit the deity who dwells at the centre their town, and who commands their hearts. The collection of paintings we are here, organized anand the seven to eight viewings Idanham that take place every day, the colourful festivals strewn across the seasons, and the special painting commised try priestly aristocrats and wealthy patrons, allures us impose of a community preoccupied with the life and loves of Krishna This inward-looking world was not however, immune to artistic and political developments outside its boundaries. Chapters on the fertile crow-influences among various schools of painting in the respond and on gin the role of popular prints in modernizing Nathdwara's aesthetic preferences reveal a group of artisam willing to consider new ways of seeing and depicting Further sections on painting technique help us understand the complex process of getting pigment onto a support, from making the paintbrush and preparing the pigments to the final burnishing of the surface. Even though some of these procedures have been lost, curtailed or abandoned in recent years, they constitute a determinant of the classic Nathdwara school of painting. A group of sketches takes us even closer to the creative process, as we look over the artist's shoulder while he gets his initial idea down on paper. In this chapter, The Artist's Hand Revealed, we find the drawing that first sent Anil Relia on his voyage of discovery (CAT 80).

Packed into the folds of the Annalli Hills, alext thirty miles north-east of Udaipur is the bundling pilgrimage cent of Nathdwara, home to Shrinathj the living image inanups of Kishna raising Mount Coasthan The establishment of the deity's havel imansiontemple in Mewar in the seventeenth century, gave rise to a town that completely revolved around Shrinath and the activities at his palatial shrine. The haveli brought together a myriad of diverse social groups such as masons, potters, tailon, silversmith, embroiderers, brocade weavers, enamel tmeenakan) workers, cools and carpenters, all performing divine service (seval for the child-god Krishna. Most importantly it fostered the growth of a painting community, drawn from various towns in Rajasthan, that came to serve the needs of the haveli and the pilgrims.

Nathdwara became a unique centre, its rituals and traditions remaining virtually unchanged for over 300 years. Until recently it was in a time capsule, maintaining artistic traditions that had vanished from the Rajput courts. It was the archive for the styles and techniques of the courtly painting studios of Rajasthan as well as the home to its own unbroken artistic tradition for over three centuries. There were hundreds of artists from the Anger and Adi Gaur castes dedicated to serving the temple and providing mainted icons for the pilgrimage trade. It is sad to learn om Madhuvanti Ghose that all this is now being reatened, eroded by the growth of the town and e encroachment of the twenty-first century Over the last forty years Nathdwaras un has garnered die attention of scholars and produced an explosion of research on the pilgrimage cente When we first worked on the Calico Collection of Nathdwara pichhavais Indian Pigment Painting on Cloth in the early seventies there were very lew publications about Nathdwara Most notable were Robert Skelton's Rajasthani Temple Hangn of the Krishna Cult (1973), Renaldo Madure's Artistic Creativity in a Brahmin Community (1976) and Rajendra Jindel's Culture of a Sacred Town (1976). Since then outstanding art historians such as Tryna Lyons, B.N. Goswamy Amit Ambala and Madhuvanti Chose have made significant contributions to the understanding and preservation of the history of Nathdwara's artistic community In addition to the art historical aspect of the sacred town, there has been an avalanche of material published on the literary, political, socio-economic and anthropological facets of Nathdwara.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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