Manaku of Guler: The Life and Work of Another Great Indian Painter From a Small Hill State
• Brings together two uncommonly gifted individuals: an 18th century Indian painter and a 21st century art historian. The fruit of this collaboration across time between painter and art historian makes for compelling reading
• A work of an art historian who has ferreted out, from a virtually anonymous tradition, information on individual painters, and, after bringing them out of obscurity, has been writing on them with rare insights and warmth
• Story of a Lesser Known Pahari Painter with immense talent
This work centers upon Manaku of Guler - older brother of the greatly celebrated Nainsukh - reconstructing whatever little is known of his life, but following closely his artistic journey. Manaku came from an obscure little town in the hills of northern India - home to his singularly talented family - and yet his vision knew almost no limits. Endowed with soaring imagination and great painterly skills, this man - with a name that literally means a ruby, whose glow keeps hinting at an inner fire - was capable of painting giant rings of time upon timeless waters, envisioning the world of gods and demons, littered with cosmic battles and earthly triumphs.
At least three great series were painted by Manaku: the Siege of Lanka which took forward the narrative of the Ramayana from the point where his father, the gifted Pandit Seu, had left it; the Gita Govinda and the Bhagavata Purana. Every single folio that has survived and is at present accessible - the number comes close to five hundred - from these series finds a place in this uncommonly rich volume.
For the second time - Nainsukh of Guler was the first (also published by Niyogi Books) - Professor Goswamy looks here at the entire body of work of a great Indian artist from the past.
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