in Unexpected fame: Conservation approaches to the preparatory object. Proceedings from the International Conference of the Icon Book & Paper Group, Oxford 1–2 October 2018 (London, The Institute of Conservation: 2020). Link.
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Among the collection of Indian miniature paintings at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, about twenty drawings from the Pahari and Rajasthan regions and from the Mughal court have so far received little interest from scholars and are still unknown to the public. However, the study of Indian drawings has recently begun to increase through several noteworthy exhibitions and essays focused on the subject. Therefore, the aim of the study is to shed light on the purpose and significance of Indian drawings from the angle of technical art history. Three main themes drawn from these artworks were identified to better approach the diversity and complexity of the topic.Firstly, some of the drawings embody the making process involved, normally unseen in a finished painting. Secondly, some drawings give an insight into workshop practices. Thirdly, some pieces emphasize the development of a new artform influenced by European and Persian models: drawing in black ink. Close-up examination with digital microscopy, infrared reflectography, and pigment identification with X-ray fluorescence also contributed to the methods of investigation by illustrating the various aspects. The combined data will provide a comprehensive insight into artists’ techniques, workshop practices and patterns, and identification of materials.
Indian drawing, Rajput drawing, materiality, production process
Many thanks to Abigail Bainbridge, William Bennett, Thomas Bower and all the supporting volunteers from ICON book and paper group, who made this publication possible. Warm thanks also go to Emma Webb for her wonderful editing.