The Ancient India Post

Rather just a look at 2 early 20th century paintings recreating the era.


From dawn until late into the night I worked. By day I copied the parts of the wall that were well lit, and by night I shifted on to those corners that always remained dark; thus I economised both in petrol and eyesight. Mukul Chandra Dey, My Pilgrimages to Ajanta and Bagh.

Around 1918-1919, Mukul Dey made a trip to the Ajanta and Bagh caves to recreate the frescoes there.  Dey’s circumstances were modest and the trip wasfunded by commissioned portraits.  The work was eventually published in book form in 1925. “Dancing Girls” is possibly part of this or at least inspired by Dey’s trip given the costumes and hairstyles.  No bodices in this particulars painting.

More on the artist at this dedicated site. And a 1979 article.  Dey’s book seems a rather engaging read and I might order the book given I can only find truncated bits online.


AmrapaliRoma Mukerji.

It is not often that you come across early 20th century Indian women painters but I can’t find much information on the artist.  This seems to be from a 1950s series of paintings on the life of the Buddha and probably has to do with the episode of Amrapali serving food to the Buddha.  Both she and her attendant wear an antariya, uttariya and cholaka (though the attendant has less finery and of course is a bit darker!).

About Anu M

A potted history of Indian clothing and fashion.
This entry was posted in Ancient India, Art, Bengal, Colonial, Costume, Courtesan, Culture, Dance, Dancer, Early 20th Century, fashion, Indian Dress, Paintings, Vintage, Vintage Dress, Women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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