Into the Indian Mind

An Insight through Portraits, Battles and Epics in Indian Painting
J.P Losty, Francesca Galloway, 2015
Catalogue, 126 pages
Publisher: Francesca Galloway
ISBN: 978-0-9569147-4-3
Dimensions: 31.5 x 24.5 cm

The immediacy of Indian painting, more than any other medium, allows us to see into the kaleidoscope of Indian life. We witness the drama of battle, the honour of selfsacrifice, the inner narrative of portraiture and the ecstasy of love. In this catalogue one gets a glimpse into the Indian mind.

We here present several recent and exciting discoveries. One highlight is an early 17th century Imperial Mughal battle-scene from the Sevadjian collection. This painting, depicting a vibrant battle in a mountainous arid landscape, is of an unusual composition and of great quality. It has thrown up many questions and will undoubtedly require further study.

We have a surprising discovery in the form of an Ethiopian votive panel – a product of the cross cultural trade between India and Ethiopia. This is an exchange which is difficult to imagine today since very few pieces like ours have survived.

A number of paintings are from the collection of Otto Sohn-Rethel, a German artist who lived in the first half of the 20th century. Sohn-Rethel came from a family of artists and collectors. He had an eclectic eye and bought in a number of areas. Around 1931 Sohn-Rethel visited India, where he acquired close to a hundred paintings. Some were of great quality and importance, while others have not weathered the test of time. On his return he consulted Ernst Kühnel, the then foremost German art historian for Islamic art, who published a selection of these paintings in Pantheon 1931. This group was to remain Sohn-Rethel’s only venture into the field of Indian miniatures.