Usta Artisans and Their Heritage
Author: Shanane Davis
The purpose of this volume is to reintroduce to the world this wealth of newly collected and translated data on the Bikaner School and its treasures and to highlight some of its unique artistic qualities. The author, with a knowledge of seven regional languages, had access to an extensive private collection of Bikaner paintings and drawings, many of which bear inscriptions. These include pounces, to facilitate reproduction of valued compositions, and Siyah Kalam (finished drawings) from as early as the Late 16th Century. “The publication of these pictures substantially increases our knowledge of the Bikaner tradition, while the correlation’s Davis has been able to draw between these pictures and the documentary material she has studies constitute one of the most significant contributions of knowledge to the field in recent years.” Molly Emma Aitken Ph. D.
Contents: introduction – Artistic Media of the Bikaner School – Raga and Ragini poetic musical paintings – Origin of the Bikaner School and the importance of royal patrons – A chronological procession of Bikaner Usta master paintings (the first ever published) – The first published photographs of privately held 16th and 17th century “Siyah Kalam” painted drawings by founders of the Bikaner School – Characteristics of Identifying Art of the Bikaner School – Fusion of Islamic and Hindu culture in Bikaner Art – Clothing, Costumes and Jewelry of the Bikaner State – Policy and politics of the Bikaner State – 139 previously unpublished 16th – 19th century painted drawings and watercolor miniatures from 27 celebrated Bikaner Usta painters, their ateliers, and disciples – Unattributed paintings from the 17th through 19th centuries – Photographs of Jamil Usta’s “Naqqashi-Manoti” masterpieces – Two fold-out genealogy tables of “The Bikaner Usta Artisans” and ‘The Bikaner Royal Family” are included. The first table identifies the genealogy of 18 generations of Umrani and Lalani Bikaner painters along with the confirmed or estimated date they painted and by which media they excelled. The second table identifies the extended genealogy of the royal family of Bikaner.
An excellent scholarly production with superb illustrative plates. 436 pages with over 350 full-color plates, produced from transparencies, of very high quality, 2 large, fold-out genealogy charts, color-coded for easy reference, in a pocket at the rear, handmade paper on inside front and rear bindings.
Illustrated hardcover with jacket. A new book. 11 by 8.25 inches.