A RAREST PERIOD OF PAINTING IN LAHORE
18TH CENTURY WORKS ON WALLS AND PAPER
In search of Lahori painters
Lahore has a history of a thousand years of Art and Culture. Different periods, different kind of works. Obviously different artists, different innovation. Different inspirations. The earliest works of Lahore are inspired by Central Asian as well as Chinese works. The Sultanate period has its own dynamics. But the rarest period in Lahore is from 1750 to 1800, an otherwise dead period of life here. Obviously there was a continuity of traditions here, but the patronage had changed in a very drastic manner. We hope to find dated things in our path of research.
Not an easy task.
M.A. Rahman Chughtai wrote the phenomenal work LAHORE KE DABISTAN MUSSAWARI and we already have had it translated in English. We are editing it, finding specimens of what we can find and we will eventually publish it in book form for the world. All this is not easy, with no one to help us in any way. But the journey we started alone, may end alone, but in the long run, a trail of a caravan would be there. That delights us.
The Hindu works are from a demolished building in Lahore dated around 1780. But if we see the faces, there is no relation with the works done in Lahore during the Sikh period. The faces are all of a different kind. A strange kind of Shiva’s personification as well as of Krishnas. But the Lingam worship is there. The Raja is a different kind altogether. Not a Sikh of any kind. More research is required here.
On the other hand the Rustam we have is a different Rustam too. But there are round facesa in both Hindu as well asa Muslim subjects. People look more real of life than idealized ones. According to another historian, Kanwal Khalid, that is the test of Lahori paining in itself.
Enjoy our efforts!
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Lahore always a centre of painting