Modern Painting

With suitable examples, explain what features describe the “modern school” of Indian painting. (200 Words)

For the sake of chronology, the Modern period in Indian art is said to have begun in 1857. It was called ‘modern’ due to Western influence evident in the work of Raja Ravi Verma who is considered the foremost exponent of the style. Lady in moonlight and Ravana kidnapping Sita are two of his famous paintings.
These paintings are in the western naturalistic style using oil paint and easel painting and not for glorification.
The Bengal school developed as areactionary style. It was characterised by simple colours and was distinctly nostalgic and romantic. The Bengal school developed under Abhinidra Nath Tagore and came to dominate for the next three decades until itdeclined in the 1940s. Rabindranath Tagore’s paintings also belong to the same school. Its main features are use of simple colours, dominant black lines, sense of rhythm and small size paintings. E.g.. Abhinidra Nath Tagore’s Arabian Night series.
Eventually, the modern school came to be characterised by an international aesthetic of abstract form, emphasis on the individual’s sensory perception of colour, form, structure and medium. These were explored by artist like Amrita Shergill and later by Tyeb Mehta, Jamini Roy, MF Hussain etc.



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