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Subject: Book on the Bikaner School

Book on the Bikaner School

From: Simon Barcham Green <simongreen<-at->
Date: Monday, March 9, 2009
A new book  entitled: "The Bikaner School - Usta Artisans and Their
Heritage" by Shanane Davis, foreword by Molly Emma Aitken, Ph. D.,
has been published and may be of interest to paper conservators.
Publisher RMG Exports, ISBN 978-906752-0-8

"The Bikaner School - Usta Artisans and Their Heritage"
chronologically documents newly discovered research and evidence on
Bikaner State Usta family artists/artisans between the late-16th to
late-19th Centuries.  Their methods, materials, and media are
explained in depth along with 366 previously unpublished Bikaner
School paintings, Manoti-Naqqashi art objects, red Dulmera Sandstone
carved jalis, textiles and important previously unpublished
historical documents.

Chapter II discusses in depth the tools, materials, mineral and
vegetable pigments, Khaqas (perforated design sheets used to
re-create drawings and paintings) and processes used by Bikaner Usta
artists to create Siyah Kalam painted drawings and opaque water
colour paintings. For the first time Bikaner Master Usta artisans'
works and signatures is re-produced chronologically by date along
with the first documented genealogy tables of 18 generations of
Bikaner Usta artisans and the Bikaner Royal family.

Molly Emma Aitken, Ph. D., states:

   "The publication of these pictures substantially increases our
    knowledge of the Bikaner tradition, while the correlations Davis
    has been able to draw between these pictures and the documentary
    material she has studied constitute one of the most significant
    contributions of knowledge to the field in recent years. In the
    following pages, readers will gain a far more precise picture of
    who the Bikaner's painters were, how they were rewarded, how
    they worked, and what their relationship was with their

   "Arguably, Davis' most important contribution will be the
    publication of a full genealogy of the Usta Umrani and Lalani
    clans of Bikaner painters."

In a 2000 article, Naval Krishna wrote:

   "So far few modern scholars have made useful though fragmentary
    attempts to reconstruct outline genealogies of the Umrani and
    other Bikaner painters, on the basis of inscriptional
    information from court paintings available to them, but without
    being able to consult the written genealogies formerly found in
    various old Usta households." Davis has been able to consult
    precisely those genealogies, bequeathing future scholars a
    treasury of material with which to build future studies."

Enquiries through ustaartisans<-at->rediffmail<.>com (not  to Simon Green)


                  Conservation DistList Instance 22:51
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 11, 2009
                       Message Id: cdl-22-51-012
Received on Monday, 9 March, 2009

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