- This event is over.
Writer and historian William Dalrymple will speak from his book – The Forgotten Masters (Published to coincide with the first UK exhibition of these masterworks at The Wallace Collection), which celebrates the work of a series of extraordinary Indian artists, each with their own style and tastes and agency, all of whom worked for British patrons between the 1770s and the bloody end of the Mughal rule in 1857. The East India Company extended its sway across India in the late eighteenth century, many remarkable artworks were commissioned by Company officials from Indian painters who had previously worked for the Mughals.
These hybrid paintings explore both the beauty of the Indian natural world and the social realities of the time, often of astonishing brilliance and originality. They shed light on a forgotten moment in Anglo-Indian history during which Indian artists responded to European influences while keeping intact their own artistic visions and styles. These artists represent the last phase of Indian artistic genius before the onset of the twin assaults – photography and the influence of western colonial art schools – ended an unbroken tradition of painting going back two thousand years. As these masterworks show, the greatest of these painters deserve to be remembered as among the most remarkable Indian artists of all time.
In collaboration with the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP)
The Museum of Art & Photography’s (MAP) mission is to build, manage and sustain a new museum to exhibit, interpret and preserve a growing collection of art and cultural artefacts, motivated by a belief that museums should play a positive role in society. It seeks to bridge art and community and serve as a catalyst for greater public exposure to the important cultural history of the visual arts in the country.
William Dalrymple is an award winning historian and writer, art historian and curator, as well as a prominent broadcaster and critic. He is also one of the co-founders and co-directors of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival.
Dalrymple’s interests include the history and art of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Muslim world, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Jains and early Eastern Christianity. All of his seven books have won major literary prizes, as have his radio and television documentaries.