Nainsukh: Owner Transfixed by Goose
Prof Sunil Khilnani profiles Nainsukh, the artist whose intimate and engaging portraits of a prince's life created a new vision for Indian art.
Prof. Sunil Khilnani profiles Nainsukh, the 18th century artist whose intimate and engaging portraits of a prince's life created a new vision for Indian art.
In his paintings of his patron, Balwant Singh, Nainsukh departed from the rigid formality of traditional Indian painting. Instead he showed the prince in his most unguarded moments: having his beard trimmed by a barber, being mimicked by a performer, huddled ill and depressed under a bulky quilt, and writing a letter bare-chested in his tent. "It's an almost modern, instagram-esque familiarity" says Sunil Khilnani.
The artist Howard Hodgkin, an appreciator and collector of Nainsukh's work, describes Nainsukh as "the first great modern artist of India". In his favourite painting, Balwant Singh and his pet goose stare at each other, both bird and prince transfixed.
Prof. Khilnani tells the story of two men: one a painter with a unique talent to express humanity and individuality, warmth and humour; the other a prince who unreservedly, unselfconsciously gave himself to the artist as subject.
Producer: Jeremy Grange
Executive Producer: Martin Smith.
- Fri 5 Jun 2015 13:45
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- Sat 13 Feb 2016 02:15