IN TH E P U B LIC DO M AIN: A N I N E T E E N TH C E N T U RY S O U TH I N D I A N D E I TY A L B U M AT TH E N G V Carol Cains – TAASA Review June 2011


This article was originally found in the June 2011 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 20, Issue 2, Page 24).

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I n 2009 the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) acquired a 19th century album of paintings of Hindu deities.

The album is an outstanding example of South Indian Company-style painting, a hybrid style of Indian painting that incorporates elements from European art and takes its name from the various European trading companies that were founded in Asia from the early 16th century.

This genre of South Indian painting, produced in large numbers from the late 18th century (Archer 1992: 21), comprises sets of paintings on paper depicting a range of subjects including deities, tribes and castes, occupations, regional costumes, festivals and temple sites. The NGV’s leather-bound album comprises 108 paintings depicting forms of the Hindu deities Vishnu, Shiva and the Goddess, as well as images of temples located near Tiruchchirapalli in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu...