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Question 1

 1.  Fill in the blanks:

(a) The art form which observed carefully and tried to capture exactly what the eye saw is called _________.

(b) The style of painting which showed Indian landscape as a quaint, unexplored land is called _________.

(c) Paintings which showed the social lives of Europeans in India are called _________.

(d) Paintings which depicted scenes from British imperial history and their victories are called _________.


Solution:
(a) The art form which observed carefully and tried to capture exactly what the eye saw is called idea of realism.
 

(b) The style of painting which showed Indian landscape as a quaint, unexplored land is called picturesque landscape painting.
 

(c) Paintings which showed the social lives of Europeans in India are called portrait painting.
 

(d) Paintings which depicted scenes from British imperial history and their victories are called history paintings.


Question 2

Point out which of the following were brought in with British art:
(a) oil painting (b) miniatures (c) life-size portrait painting (d) use of perspective (e) mural art

 

Solution:
The following were brought in with British art:

(a) Oil painting

(c) Life-size portrait painting

(d) Use of perspective

 


Question 3

Describe in your own words one painting from this chapter which suggests that the British were more powerful than Indians. How does the artist depict this?

Solution:
In the painting ‘The Aurial and Dashwood Families of Calcutta’, painted by Johann Zoffany, you see Thomas Dashwood and Charlotte Lousia Aurial entertaining guests. There are various Indian servants serving tea. The British are seen seated or standing regally in a sprawling lawn. The Indians are shown as submissive and inferior to the British. They are placed in the back ground. Thus the picture suggests that the British were more powerful than Indians.

Question 4

Why did the scroll painters and potters come to Kalighat? Why did they begin to paint new themes?

Solution:
The scroll painters and potters come to Kalighat in the hope of new patrons and new buyers of their art. After the 1840s, a new trend was visible within the Kalighat artists. Living in a society where values, tastes, social norms and customs were undergoing rapid changes, Kalighat artists responded to the world around, and produced paintings on social and political themes.

Question 5

Why can we think of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings as national?

Solution:
Raja Ravi Varma mastered the Western art of oil painting and realistic life study, but painted themes from Indian mythology. He dramatised on canvas, scene after scene from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. From the 1880s, Ravi Varma’s mythological paintings became the rage among Indian princes and art collectors.

 

Question 6

In what way did the British history paintings in India reflect the attitudes of imperial conquerors?

Solution:
British history paintings celebrated the British, their power, their victories and their supremacy. The paintings were full of action and energy. The painting dramatised the event and glorified the British triumph. These paintings sought to create a public memory of imperial triumphs. Victories had to be remembered, implanted in the memory of people, both in India and Britain. Only then could the British appear invincible and all-powerful.

 

Question 7

Why do you think some artists wanted to develop a national style of art?

Solution:
Some artists rejected the art of Ravi Varma as imitative and westernised, and declared that such a style was unsuitable for depicting the nation’s ancient myths and legends. They felt that a genuine Indian style of painting had to draw inspiration from non-Western art traditions, and try to capture the spiritual essence of the East. These artists broke away from the convention of oil painting and the realistic style, and turned for inspiration to medieval Indian traditions of miniature painting and the ancient art of mural painting in the Ajanta caves. Abanindranath Tagore was one of the first artists who wanted to develop a national style of art

Question 8

Why did some artists produce cheap popular prints? What influence would such prints have had on the minds of people who looked at them?

Solution:
Raja Ravi Varma painted scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. During the 1880s, Ravi Varma’s mythological paintings became the rage among Indian princes and art collectors, who filled their palace galleries with his works.

As his paintings became very popular, Ravi Varma set up a picture production team and Printing press on the outskirts of Bombay. Here colour prints of his religious paintings were mass produced. Even the poor could now buy these cheap prints.





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