in what way did the british history paintings in india reflect the attitudes of imperial conquerors?
THE BRITISH HISTORY PAINTINGS IN INDIA REFLECTED THE ATTITUDES OF IMPERIAL CONQUERORS
- From the eighteenth century, a group of European artists came to India, along with British traders and rulers and they introduced new styles and new methods of paintings.
- They started painting pictures which became largely popular in Europe and helped configure Western effects of India. The European artists had to make a notice carefully and illustrate exactly what they saw. Their works were expected to be authentic.
- Whatever they painted always emphasised the supremacy of Britain – its culture, people and its power.
- The picturesque landscape style of painting illustrated India as an old-fashioned land. Its landscape was rocky and uncultivated.
- Thomas Daniell and William Daniell were the most famous artists who came to India in 1785, travelling from Calcutta to northern and southern India.
- They produced some of the most reminiscent picturesque landscapes of India, conquered by Britain.
- Their large oil paintings were regularly exhibited to select audiences in Britain and their albums of woodcut were eagerly bought by British public to know about Britain’s empire.
- Their paintings always depicted the ruined local buildings of India. They emphasised the reminders of past glory and remained of an ancient civilisation that was in ruin and this deteriorating civilisation would change and modernise only through British governance.
- Some of the late eighteenth century pictures depicted the making of a new Calcutta with wide roads and awesome European-style buildings. They highlighted the pre-modern, unchanged India will be modernised only through the influence of British rule.