Discuss the impact of Europeans on Indian art and architecture. Further, trace the development of Modern school of Indian art from the 19th century.
Indian art and architecture is an amalgamation of indigenous and outside influences, yet having a unique character and distinctiveness of its own. The most endearing aspects of Indian art and architecture prior to colonization have been the strong impact of folk idioms and folk art on courtly art.
Colonial rule had a great impact on Indian art and architecture. As a whole, the European advent was marked by a relative insensitivity to native art traditions:
- Former Indian patrons of art became less wealthy and influential, and Western art became more ubiquitous as the British Empire established schools of art in major cities.
- The Company style of paintings, for example, became common, created by Indian artists working for European patrons of the East India Company. Water colors were used for the first time in the painting.
- The fusion of Indian traditions with European style became evident in architectural styles after 1858, leading to the revival of Indo-Saracenic architectural style which drew elements from native Indo- Islamic and Indian architecture and combined them with Gothic revival and Neo-Classical styles favored in Britain.
- British architecture in the later phase tried to amalgamate Hindu ornamentation and Islamic symmetry as seen in viceregal palace. Development of modern school of Indian art:
- Modern Indian art typically shows the influence of Western style but is often inspired by Indian themes. Modern Indian art fuses multiple concepts and forms of media to express both traditional Indian and non-traditional themes
- Western and colonial influence replaced much of traditional Indian painting during the end of the 19th century until the Bengal School of Art, established by Abinandranath Tagore and E. B. Havell, consciously attempted to reconnect Indian artists with their past. Kalighat painting was the best outcome of it.
- By 1947, several schools of art in India provided access to modern techniques and ideas. This same year the Progressive Artist’s Group, a group aimed at establishing new ways of expressing Indian art in the post-colonial era.
- After the compelling success of the Progressive Artists Group, the stage was set for tremendous transformations in the art scene of India. Liberated from the many debilitating complexes anduncertainties, Indian artists began a quest for their individual styles.