Forgotten Masters: Indian Painting for the East India Company ★★★★★ The Wallace Collection | Until April 19, 2020


This is a show that lives up to its title! There is some wonderful work here that is largely unknown and whose neglected creators are only now being rescued from obscurity. It is such a shame that this has been the state of things for so long. This exhibition which is beautifully displayed and thoughtfully curated by William Dalrymple is a tremendous step in rectifying that oversight. This is art created by Indian artists for British patrons from the later eighteenth through to the mid nineteenth centuries. It traces the blending of Mughal and European traditions, tools and techniques, recording flora, fauna, architecture and some wonderful studies of cultural confluences. The portrait of John Wombwell, a Yorkshire chartered accountant in Mughal attire and smoking a hookah is counterpointed by the Indians pictured sometimes rather awkwardly in western military uniforms. The show honours some amazing artists such as Yellapah of Vellore, Ghulam Ali Khan and Sita Ram and their technique is quite stunning. We also meet some fascinating historical characters and patrons of these artists. Individuals like Claude Martin and Lady Mary Impey will capture any visitor's imagination. On both an artistic and historical level, this is an exhibition no one should miss!

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until April 19, 2020
Daily: 10 am - 5 pm
The Wallace Collection
Nearest tube: Bond Street

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