Book Review: A brush with Indian Art

Jokes apart, most of us are clueless when it comes to art . The more inspired of us might know the more popular ones like Vincent Van Goh and Picasso. When it comes to Indian art, our tradition is so rich, deep and varied that most of us just know that it is “ traditional art” and nothing beyond. “ A Brush with Indian Art” by Mamta Nanny helps us to understand Indian art very beautifully. The book is in chronological order but each chapter can hold its ground independently too.

What led me to this book ? The last book review we did was of how an Indian mole rat goes to the Bhimbetka caves and discovers the 30,000 year old cave paintings. While we decided to travel there and check it out ourselves, it piqued our curiosity enough to look for more books on Indian cave art. “ A Brush with Indian Art” has made a rich list of all the Indian arts — from Cave Paintings in Bhimbetka and Ajanta to the most contemporary art works my M.F Hussain! Many a times lists can be boring, but you can rest assured that this book is not because it not only talks about the art but also the socio- political reasons that led to the development of the art form! It also manages to list the places where you can see the art in real life.

Raja Ravi Varma, the grandfather of the queens of Travancore and a celebrated Malayali artist, although royal was not born a Raja. This title was conferred to him by the Viceroy and Governor — General of India. He went to the J. J school of arts, which was established by the British. You can get many such quick behind the scenes insights about the art and the artist in this book.

There was another secret reason behind me picking this book. A couple of days ago, my daughter met a friend who said she stopped going to art class because she has learnt everything about art. Knowing how kids function, you can guess what happened next ? We picked this book to show here how many forms art can take and what it really means for human history. We are now at the cave paintings chapter, we just discovered that misfortune befalls anyone who tries to deface or reproduce the paintings and that many attempts at replicating this in museums have been unsuccessful!

Get your copy of the book here —

Educational Value: 5/5

Role Models & Attitude Portrayal: Not Applicable

Age Band — broad band :All Ages

Publisher :Puffin

Author : Mamta Nainy

Illustrator: Aniruddha Mukherjee

About the Reviewer:

Roomana Basha: Mother to a book lover | Founder and CEO | Loves books — Currently reading How to Teach Economics to my Daughter| Fitness Freak | History Buff

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