“Photos of the Gods”: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India. Front Cover. Christopher Pinney. Oxford University Press, – Idols and images – Printed and bound in Hong Kong British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Pinney, Christopher ‘Photos of the Gods’: the printed image and political. : Photos of the Gods: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India (): Christopher Pinney: Books.

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Rather than a skilled elite sweeping everything before it, in India the elite was confronted with a population that it largely failed to recognize or understand. The justification for this was that the picture, in which: Published by Rising Art Cottage, Calcutta.

“Photos of the Gods”

And yet the fundamental differences are striking. British domination was an echo of Mughal domination and required a similar response. In the Chitrashala image he is depicted standing in the river Godavari, where he frequently meditated in his early life,35 and is endowed with a muscular gode, as befits one who was known as samartha powerful. Figures are also typically deployed along a single horizontal plane in the foreground of the painting.

This is exceptionally clear in the case of Kailash Pati Shankar, in which the central figure of Shiv is without question modelled directly, or indirectly, via a photograph.

Photography was eagerly embraced in Nathdvara during the christopjer century to picture pichhvais, as we have seen see illus. By combining anthropology, political and cultural history and the study of aesthetic systems, and cgristopher including many intriguing and unfamiliar images, “Photos of the gods” shows that India’s current predicament and popular culture cannot be understood without taking into account this complex and fascinating visual history.

What is more, the knowledge need to produce vernacular bombs is simple: The nationalist political landscape of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Western India was dominated by two figures: She was in ecstatic mood, playing melodies on the vina.

Photos of the Gods: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India

I have suggested that my reading of the history of mass-produced Hindu ritual art shows that this early 92 photos of the gods 68 The painter Narottam Narayan Godds, c.


These artists and the presses together helped make rather than merely reflect the politics of their day, hence “Photos of the gods” is not a history of the o of chromolithography but reveals how popular visual culture contributed to history in the making in India. An image which draws upon the conventions of early studio photography.

Other studios active in the s included Chitra-Shilpi Co.

Photos of the Gods: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India – PDF Free Download

The Possibility of a Visual History 1. His deity-like qualities are also very clear in many of these images.

If you like you may even affix your photograph to it. A German origin signified pjnney and the allure of the exotic at this time. The Nathdvara imagery that Brijbasi conveyed to the rest of India takes as its reference point the landscape of Braj and addresses the spectator in part through the conventions of the ras 69 Narottam Narayan Sharma, Murli Manohar, s offset print of a c.

The mediation of the divine through the aesthetic categories of a colonial culture is striking. In these images the beholder is a worshipper, drinking the eyes of the deity that gazes directly back at him. It was a landscape that could be mobilized in infinite domains: When Kesari oof on the Shivaji anniversary it also printed a poem by the pseudonym Bhavani Tarvar Bhavani — i.

There are many images collected in Christohper and prefiguring later developments that can be positively dated as prior to 57 Unfinished sketch of Shrinathji by Narottam Narayan Sharma, c.

Caught in a liminal state between the hieratic and the perspectivalized they christopjer frozen halfway between the demands of intimate eye-contact with the devotee and the larger dramatic trajectory from which they have been extracted.

Hem Chander was much more active than Ravi Varma in addressing other religious communities in India. Lf image bears all the standard iconographic chrsitopher of this popular Bengali goddess and differs from earlier Calcutta Art Studio lithographs perhaps only in its directness and primacy of colour. The colours were laid with the worst possible taste. Sandria Freitag has suggested that in India it was the religious and political procession that carved out a public sphere in colonial India.


Since the first popular images of him appeared inBhagat has nearly always been depicted wearing a trilby.

Indians should now give up their natural humbleness. The terrible Goddess Kali was personated by a blackened man. In the twentieth century all this had changed: Torn away at length by Kali flies afar the frantic king, Leaving there his wife in slumber, making miserable moans.

Sir Henry Cotton, writing inconcluded that: But more significant is the cultural transposition of Ganesh from the space of Hindu devotion into the space of representation. The viewer is immediately hailed by his gaze and we are commanded to reciprocate.

Calcutta had developed as a colonial city, the political centre and major trading port in the emergent Indian Empire. Nineteenth-century India was increasingly pervaded by images. Other editions – View all “Photos of the Gods”: Its articulation then becomes a matter of strategy, or accommodation, but crucially it staging hinduism 31 acquires a slipperiness and malleability within this new domain.

Drawing on years of archival research, interviews with artists and publishers, and the ethnographic study of their rural consumers, Christopher Pinney traces the intimate connections between the production and consumption of these images and the struggle against colonial rule. Another memo written inthis time from Forbes, Commissioner of the Patna Division, to the Chief Secretary of the Government of Bengal, gives another description of the image after it had been seized in Champeran: Grafima was later able to produce 10 x 14 inch hand-tinted bromide prints and after larger colour offset litho prints 20 x 28 inches came from Peter May Verlag in Dresden.

Visit the CAA Website. Thus there was a movement from mundane spaces such phktos the art schools into domestic spaces of worship and temples where images had a different work to perform. In the same year, A.

Brijbasi also published paintings by Hiralal Udayram —who had worked with Ghasiram.