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Grant number like: FT-51714-03

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Ajay Sinha
Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA 01075-1461)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2003 – 7/31/2003

The Cultural Currency of Oil Painting in Early Modern India, 1780-1850

The history of oil painting in India is told from the perspective of British colonizers and their interests in portraits and picturesque landscapes. I will study oil paintings in India from around 1800 that served primarily an Indian clientele of traders involved in trade networks with countries such as England, China and the U.S.A. Painted by Indian and Chinese artists, these paintings show interaction of various pictorial traditions, artistic skills, and materials within a globalized commercial world. I will argue that oil gained cultural currency within an unstable, urban, visual culture of this period by assimilating diverse, conflicting modes of visual representations within a new sign of modernity.