The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947

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9781558598485: The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947

Published for the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (Winter 1990-1) "The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947", this catalogue examines the relationship between British and Indian society over the whole period of the British presence in India, from the founding of the East India Company in 1660 to the withdrawal of the British and Partition in 1947. It depicts the wealth, productivity and complex civilization of the India of the great Mughals and shows how Europeans, including the English, were drawn to its shores, seeking the privilege of trading in its fine muslins, printed cottons and spices. The English East India Company had long insisted on sovereignty within its commercial bases on Indian soil, and a significant body of opinion argued for more secure territorial holdings in the subcontinent. The catalogue attempts to illustrate and analyse the history of India and the British for over 300 years with more than 500 illustrations of the weapons, fabrics, coinage, books, drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, manuscripts, miniatures, jewellery and maps featured in the exhibition. The book is an illustrated history of India and a contribution both to Indian history and to an understanding of the European experience of colonialism.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Although this richly illustrated volume catalogues an exhibit held in 1990-1991 at London's National Portrait Gallery, it stands on its own as a study of how the British created images of colonial India, and of how the Indians viewed the British. British artists depicted a "mysterious" subcontinent refracted through European aesthetic categories. Portraits presented Indians as representatives of types, tribes or castes. Indian artists often tried to diminish their foreign overlords, portraying British officials as, at most, the equals of rajas and princes. As nationalism took hold, Indian artists challenged the Raj's depiction of a land fragmented by caste and religion, showing instead Indian unity in diversity. Bayly, a Cambridge specialist in Indian history, leads a team of British and Indian scholars who provide essays accompanied by paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, textiles, household furnishings and artifacts.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Bayly, Christopher Alan
Published by Abbeville Press (1994)
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Christopher Alan Bayly
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