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Fashioning a National ArtBaroda's Royal Collection and Art Institutions (1875-1924)$
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Priya Maholay-Jaradi

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466849

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466849.001.0001

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Collecting the High Arts

Collecting the High Arts

From Consumption to Informed Collecting

(p.62) 2 Collecting the High Arts
Fashioning a National Art

Priya Maholay-Jaradi

Oxford University Press

This chapter is set against a backdrop of European itinerant artists, British-run art schools, and growing tastes in favour of highly naturalistic and scientific European genres of academic portraiture and salon sculpture in nineteenth-century India. Groomed by these informal and institutional colonial contexts of art education, Sayajirao dialogues with an international network of advisors and artists to acquire European artworks. Simultaneously, through commissions to native and European practitioners, he indigenizes these European visual arts with the past and living vernacular and transnational aesthetic inputs. Their democratic cross-referencing leads to an assimilative, cosmopolitan style; the latter’s prolific output as continuous series of artworks and their high visibility at international exhibitions consolidate them as an independent native genre that is simultaneously claimed as India’s new national high art. Through its links with ideas of indigenization, cosmopolitanism, and nationalism, the maharaja’s consumption of the high arts qualifies as a collecting practice.

Keywords:   academic oil portrait, salon sculpture, art school, genre subjects, itinerant artists, lifestyle context, prestige consumption, localization, indigenous modernity, cosmopolitanism

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