Most dramatic artworks depicting the flora and fauna of India made by provincial artists felicitously called as the “Forgotten Masters” under the commission of East India Company in 18th-19th century are up for sale at Sotheby’s auction.
After Wallace Collection’s exhibition last year which showcased the images of strikingly wonderful paintings made by local artists under the employment of East India Company officials, Sotheby’s has announced the schedule of auctioning the remarkable artwork with bestowing the due credit upon the Forgotten Masters.
The Exhibitions will be held in New York from 17-20 September, Hong Kong from 7-11 October and London from 22-26 October before the auction on 27 October.
According to Benedict Carter, Sotheby’s head of sales “Rochell, a US based art dealer started collecting these lesser-known masterpieces” more than 20 years ago because a was captured by the east-meets-west aesthetic. “When they were painted, these works were the principal way in which India could be revealed to those in Great Britain, who otherwise could only hear stories about this sumptuous lan.”
The artworks encompass a series of painting depicting the native species of the animals, birds and plants along with architecture and people encountered by the colonial officials as they desired the people in Britain ought to see the wonderments they were seeing in India.Seven of the paintings from the exhibition are among the 29 lots that make up the auction, entitled In an Indian Garden.
Besides this company British elites also studied the works of miniature artists brought to India by the Mughal empire, and their training enabled these artists to adapt brilliantly to the requirements of science-obsessed English aristocrats. Even the idea of assembling watercolour pictures in albums is a Mughal convention – although it got a new style. Hope the genius who immortalised the indian cultural demography will get their long due credit.