Book Cover
Nainsukh of Guler
A Great Indian Painter from a Small hill-State
Paper Type: Art Paper (Matt) | Size: 300 x 229mm
All colour; 244 photographs
 Art

 2500

“To trace the life and career of a painter (of the past) in India is”, as the author says, “somewhat akin to following the course of an earthen lamp on swift waters.” The glow is bright and warm, and one can keep it within sight for a while, but things can quickly turn and uncharted vastness takes over. However, knowing this and going against the prevailing (perhaps even comfortable) state of anonymity that is almost a defining condition of the arts in India, this book concerns itself with simply one painter: Nainsukh. The glow that comes from his work is remarkably bright and warm, and tracing its course, however briefly, yields a very special pleasure. Born ca. 1710 to a family of painters in Guler, a small and little known state now merged in Himachal Pradesh, Nainsukh attached himself for the greater part of his career to an equally little known prince of Jasrota, Balwant Singh. From that obscure corner of the hills, through the coming together of a discriminating patron – a true connoisseur – and a painter of genius, emerged a body of work that is compelling: startling in its freshness and heart-warming in its humanity. In this book, which is the result of painstaking research spread over many years, Professor B.N. Goswamy has brought together all of Nainsukh’s known or ascribable oeuvre: close to a hundred paintings, painted sketches, and drawings which contain the first flush of his thoughts. Nainsukh of Guler is perhaps the first ever book to appear on a traditional painter of the past in India. It is a path-breaking work: illuminating in its scholarship and written in a flowing, almost poetic style. Justly, it has received world-wide notice, and has attained the status of a classic.


B. N. Goswamy
B. N. Goswamy
Author
B.N. Goswamy, distinguished art historian, is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the Panjab University, Chandigarh. His work covers a wide range and is regarded, especially in the area of Indian painting, as having influenced much thinking. He has been the recipient of many honors, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship, the Rietberg Award for Outstanding Research in Art History, the JDR III Fellowship, the Mellon Senior Fellowship and, from the President of India, the Padma Shri (1998) and the Padma Bhushan (2008). Apart from the Panjab University, Professor Goswamy has taught, as Visiting Professor, at major universities across the world and has been responsible for significant exhibitions of Indian art at international venues, including Paris, San Francisco, Zurich, New Delhi, San Diego and New York. He is the author of over 25 books on Indian art and culture, including: Pahari Painting; the Family as the Basis of Style (Mumbai, 1968); Painters at the Sikh Court (Wiesbaden,1975); A Place Apart: Paintings from Kutch (with A.L. Dallapiccola; New Delhi,1983); The Essence of Indian Art (San Francisco,1986); Wonders of a Golden Age: Painting at the Courts of the Great Mughals (with E. Fischer; Zurich,1987); Pahari Masters: Court Painters of Northern India (with E. Fischer; Zurich,1992); Indian Costumes in the Calico Museum of Textiles (Ahmedabad,1993); Nainsukh of Guler: A great Indian Painter from a small Hill State (Zurich and New Delhi, 1997); Domains of Wonder: Selected Masterworks of Indian Painting (with C. Smith; San Diego, 2005); And, more recently, the Spirit of Indian Painting: Close Encounters with 101 Great Works (New Delhi and London, 2014, 2016) and Pahari Paintings – the Horst Metzger Collection in the Museum Rietberg (with E. Fischer; Zurich and New Delhi).