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NCERT Solutions for Class 8 History Chapter 10
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The Changing World of Visual Arts: Question Answers
8 History Chapter 10 The Changing World of Visual Arts Solutions
Important Notes on The Changing World of Visual Arts
Forms of Imperial Art
From the eighteenth century a stream of European artists came to India along with the British traders and rulers. They began producing pictures which became widely popular in Europe and helped shape Western perceptions of India. The artists brought with them new styles and new conventions of painting. European artists brought with them the idea of realism. What the artist produced was expected to look real and lifelike. European artists also brought with them the technique of oil painting – a technique with which Indian artists were not very familiar. Oil painting enabled artists to produce images that looked real. Not all European artists in India were inspired by the same things.
One popular imperial tradition was that of picturesque landscape painting. This style of painting depicted India as a quaint land, to be explored by travelling British artists like its landscape was rugged and wild, seemingly untamed by human hands. Thomas Daniell and his nephew William Daniell came to India in 1785 and stayed for seven years, journeying from Calcutta to northern and southern India. They produced some of the most evocative picturesque landscapes of Britain’s newly conquered territories in India.
The rich and the powerful, both British and Indian, wanted to see themselves on canvas. This made another tradition of art popular in colonial India, the portrait painting. Unlike the existing Indian tradition of painting portraits in miniature, colonial portraits were life-size images that looked lifelike and real. The size of the paintings itself projected the importance of the patrons who commissioned these portraits. This new style of portraiture also served as an ideal means of displaying the lavish lifestyles, wealth and status that the empire generated.
There was a third category of imperial art, called “history painting”. British victories in India served as rich material for history painters in Britain. These painters drew on first hand sketches and accounts of travellers to depict for the British public a favourable image of British actions in India. These paintings once again celebrated the British as their power, their victories, their supremacy.