Book Cover
Nala and Damayanti
A Great Series of Paintings of an Old Indian Romance
Paper Type: Art Paper (Matt) | Size: 293 x 230mm
All colour; 279 photographs
 Art

 2995

Three things come magically together in this remarkable series of paintings: a great text, a delectable old romance, and the work of one of the most talented families of painters known to Indian art. The text is the 12th century Naishadhacharita of Sriharsha, one of the last great kavyas of Sanskrit literature. The story, told with the utmost delicacy, centers around the intense love that grew – mutual sights heard of, but yet unseen – between King Nala and Princess Damayanti; and the painter family that produced this exquisitely painted series came from the small principality of Guler in the ‘Pahari’ hills: today’s Himachal Pradesh. The intent of the painter/s was to cover the story in close to 110 paintings, but for reasons unknown, the work was interrupted: only 47 paintings could be completed – all of them now in the collection of the Amar Mahal Museum and Library at Jammu, and here published – the remaining having survived only in the form of highly finished drawings. But none of this interferes in the slightest with the magic that the paintings weave.


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).
Dr. Karan Singh
Dr. Karan Singh
Foreword