Author(s): William Dalrymple
Published to coincide with the first UK exhibition of Indian paintings by the East India Company (at The Wallace Collection), these works are here presented as one of the great moments of Indian art. Company School painting was the result of commissions made by East India Company patrons from Indian artists between the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Edited by writer and historian William Dalrymple (guest curator of the exhibition), the book explores both the beauty of the Indian natural world and the social realities of the time. It showcases these dazzling and often surprising artworks which offer a rare glimpse of the cultural fusion between British and Indian artistic styles during this period, and belatedly honours Indian artists such as Shaikh Zain ud-Din of Patna, Bhawani Das, Shaikh Mohammad Amir of Karriyah, Sita Ram, Yellapah of Vellore and the last master of the great Mughal atelier, Ghulam Ali Khan. In doing so it sheds light on a forgotten moment in Anglo-Indian history during which Indian artists responded to exposure to European influences, and recognises that the vivid and highly original paintings they produced are among the greatest masterpieces of Indian art.