British painter's Mughal period art collection in Wales show

London, PTI | Updated : 31 July 2013, 02:15 PM

Indian Mughal period court paintings from the private collection of British artist Howard Hodgkin is now up for viewing at the National Museum Cardiff in Wales, which is displaying a new addition for the first time.

The exhibition "Visions of Mughal India: The collection of Howard Hodgkin", comprises mostly paintings and drawings that flourished during the Mughal period (1550-1850).

Included in the body of works by Hodgkin, who has travelled to India many times in his lifetime, are the refined naturalistic works of the imperial Mughal court; the poetic and subtly coloured paintings of the Deccani Sultanates; and the boldly drawn and vibrantly coloured styles of the Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills.

"A large scale temple hanging painted on cloth, showing four young maidens dancing in a forest, is a recently discovered missing pair to a similar work that has been in the Hodgkin collection for many years. These two beautiful hangings will be exhibited together for the first time in Cardiff," the museum said.

The exhibition is now on tour from the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford.

Hodgkin, who is also a printmaker and whose work is most often associated with abstraction had exhibited in the first India Triennale in New Delhi in 1968. He collaborated with architect Charles Correa to create a mural using a technique often employed on Mughal buildings for the British Council building in Delhi.

"These pictures have been chosen because I thought they were beautiful, because they touched my emotions, and not for any scholarly purposes. It is a collection made by an artist," Hodgkin said in a statement released by the National Museum Cardiff.

The art collection that the 81 year-old artist has over his lifetime built up includes illustrations of epics and myths, royal portraits and many scenes of court life or hunting scenes. There is also a large and outstanding group of elephant portraits and studies of the Mughal and Kota schools.

"My collection has been seen before ...but it's since grown considerably. Now I'm struck all over again by its quality... I never bought paintings or drawings on the tempting but distracting basis of their topography, their school of art, their theme, period or style. I just wanted great art" Hodgkin said.

The exhibition in Cardiff, which began on July 27 is slated to go on till November 3, 2013.

Previously the artist's collection of paintings and drawings have been displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as the British Museum.

First Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 02:13 PM
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