Tanjore and Mysore Style Painting from the Kuldip Singh Collection
In collaboration with Prakriti Foundation & Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS)
Kuldip Singh, one of the key modernist architects and city planners of India, had a lesser known but major passion, a stark contrast to his iconic and brutalist concrete buildings. Passionate about the art and crafts of South India, Kuldip Singh had built one of the most extensive collections of over 350 rare and outstanding examples of South Indian paintings of the Tanjore, Mysuru, Andhra and Kerala schools, built on his extensive travels in the South for over 40 years.
The collection covers a wide range of idioms and themes “from the domain of gods and goddesses and the sites and stories associated with their worship, to the realm of their human patrons with portraits made of maharajas, priests and ordinary individuals”. Unlike the North Indian tradition of commissioning miniatures for pleasure, paintings in the South were meant for temples, mutts and private prayer rooms. And unlike the paintings in the North, comparatively little scholarly work has been done to study them.
All of these paintings were housed in Kuldip Singh’s home-office in Delhi, where he had for a while set up a full-fledged conservation laboratory. 'The Kuldip Singh Collection of Thanjavur paintings was gifted by him in 2019 to the CSMVS, Mumbai. They will be displayed as part of a special exhibition titled, THREE DIMENSIONS OF DIVINITY on the inauguration of the Museum’s Centenary on 10 Jan 2022' .
In this lecture Art Historian Anna Dallapicolla, will provide the historical and cultural background to these paintings and will take us through the milieu that saw the emergence of different schools of paintings to help us appreciate what is now a popularly practiced form.