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Indian Portrait

written by Rosemary Crill, Kapil Jariwala

National Portrait Gallery Publications | ISBN 9781855144095

Hardback – 176 pages


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The role of the portrait in India between 1560 and 1860 served as an official chronicle or eye-witness account, as a means of revealing the intimate moments of everyday life, and as a tool for propaganda. Yet the proliferation and mastery of Indian portraiture in the Mughal and Rajput courts brought a new level of artistry and style to the genre. The rise of the 'observed' portrait, brought about largely through European influences, enabled Mughal artists to address realism, which in turn led to the empathy portrait. This depicted the sitter as a psychological entity for the first time in Indian art, revealing an individual's failibility and compassion, or simply recorded how sitters really looked.

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