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Book Review: Mamta Nainy’s book makes one want to relive the love for art

Author Mamta Nainy’s book, A Brush with Indian Art, decodes Indian art from the time of cave paintings uptill the modern day contemporary works.

books Updated: Apr 16, 2018 19:03 IST
Henna Rakheja
Henna Rakheja
Hindustan Times
Book Review,A Brush with Indian Art,Mamta Nainy
Cover of Mamta Nainy’s book, A Brush with Indian Art.

If someone tells you that art can be ‘colourfully colourless’, will you believe? For those who get what it means, then understanding art is going to be another exploration as they read the book, A Brush with Indian Art by Mamta Nainy. For those who don’t really get how art can be with colours, and yet without it, must refer to this black and white book to understand that art isn’t just about colours.

Beginning from the first drawings, i.e. the cave paintings, the book chronicles the artistic traditions and movements in the history of Indian art, up to the contemporary era. And, the best that this piece of literature does is it makes clear that in order to appreciate a piece of art, there’s “no magic formula needed. Ask yourself what the artwork makes you feel and why.” So, all those thinking it will take another effort to understand art in this book, can remain assured to deconstruct the technical aspects of ‘art appreciation’.

Some surprise pages have information such as where all can one visit to satiate the curiosity for art. These nuggets even include the entry fee of art museums! So, in case you were trying to pass this off as just another children’s book (the genre in which it primarily falls), then think again because it also contains crucial information such as how Mughal emperor Humayun brought with him two master painters to India, Kalighat paintings were sold as religious souvenirs and details about the various art schools.

Aniruddha Mukherjee’s illustrations ably support the text. From an adorable illustration of Krishna in his childhood to the dignified persona of Raja Ravi Varma — considered as The Father of Modern Indian Art — there’s sufficient to compel a reader to browse through. The book is a must for the so-called adults who are yet to grow up in their art education.

  • Title: A Brush with Indian Art
  • Author: Mamta Nainy
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House
  • Price: Rs 299

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First Published: Apr 16, 2018 19:03 IST