“Photos of the Gods”: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India. Front Cover. Christopher Pinney. Oxford University Press, – Idols and images – Printed and bound in Hong Kong British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Pinney, Christopher ‘Photos of the Gods’: the printed image and political. : Photos of the Gods: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India (): Christopher Pinney: Books.

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Official history has diverged so fundamentally from the popular narrative that it has left us few tools with ohotos to understand a figure such as Bhagat Singh. Three of these are worth commenting upon. However, these new representational systems disseminated by the art schools were used by Indian artists to make the gods more real, not less real.

‘Photos of the Gods’: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India

Rotman uses this term to describe the money-ascommodity that sustains late twentieth-century global capitalism. A proscribed image in which Gandhi saves Mother India from the depradations of colonial rule. Once jettisoned into the new semantic pijney of the colony, it sheds the history that has shaped its resulting form.

However, I hope to show that in this sometimes bewildering zone new narratives are established that may be quite disjunct from the familiar stories of a non-visual history. It combines the sentimentality of romantic kitsch with the dark brooding intensity and richness of Nathdvara landscapes.

Another print entitled Shivpanchayatam illus. The first twelve of these were spent in a forest, and the final year in disguise in the city of Phltos. The scopic regime that these different practitioners together produced was built upon technologies and 78 tye of the gods 53 Guru Arjan Dev, c.

John Berger famously suggested that these provided allegories of classical power and discernment, the ultimate emptiness of which rendered them more easily piney to the needs of their wealthy patrons. But within this complex there is a changing dynamic.

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The first play I saw was the combat of the hero Rama with the demon Ravana. But there is also, clearly, a political factor of huge importance: In there was evidence that Poona was one source for the distribution of German chromolithographs of nude female figures.

Piney the hand-made paintings used to sell at a very cheap price. This revolt was most clearly crystallized around Ramakrishna and would find a ogds precise articulation in the writing of one of his followers, Swami Saradananda Sarat Chandra Chakravarty: The detailed output of individual presses and artists over the decades is set against the intensification of the nationalist struggle and the constraints imposed by colonial state censorship, and a half-century of Ogds independence since Sporadic terrorist activity after was met with increased phots repression and surveillance of the press.

Central to this change in the commercial picture industry was the artist Ravi Varma — and the press he founded, which would continue to have a significant presence long after he had severed his connection with it. Parallel to the eclipse of the picture plane there is an increasing stress on the surface, rather than the depth of the image: Mahadar [sic],1 bearing Sati on his shoulder, — a giant with flowing beard and hair, toiling, staff in hand, between steep and rugged cliffs, — is a fair image of St.

The performance was over. Once allegory has done its laborious work, figure could transform these chirstopher into 82 Ashtabhuja Devi, the revised Ravi Varma Press chromolithograph.

Shrinathdasji and Shyamsunderlal are seated in the centre. In this circulation, events and their representations crisscrossed media — from lithograph to theatre, from theatre to cinema, from cinema to leaflet, a pattern with which the reader will by now be familiar.

It may be said that all this is mere fooling. Later in this book, we shall see examples of explicit allegory that serve as popular visual texts for Nehruvian modernization. Recent Books in the Arts. If one keeps these pictures, one should worship them. Both depict Maharana Pratap Singh and Shivaji.

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Photos of the Gods: The Printed Image and Political Struggle in India

In the next decade a distinctive Nathdvara aesthetic was to become steadily more apparent as the benefits of strategic mimicry diminished. This process can be seen clearly at work in a confrontation between the Bombay Government and the Ravi Varma Press. The Press Act, in particular, would dramatically intensify state surveillance of visual and written texts and would precipitate the emergence of a whole range of mobile anti-colonial bods.

Although no causal connection is suggested, Anderson notes that in Western Europe the imagined communities that are nations appear historically at a time when religion is waning: Later in the catalogue further flourishes are added: Swami Nikhilananda renders the remarkable event thus: This is associated with a female embodied emotionality, which is contrasted with a virile Kantian austerity.

One very positive feature, which would have done much to offset their small size and subdued presence as compared with, say, Ravi Varma prints, was their overseas production.

Throughout the whole of the Oc, the mind of the people is. I do not claim that every Nathdvara image manifests these characteristics: It traces the connections between the production and consumption of these images and the struggle against colonial rule But, like Surendranath Banerjea, who was depicted in a late nineteenth-century monochrome image illus.

But a closer look complicates the matter greatly, for the buffalo is very definitely cow-like in colouring and physiology. It was only christophfr many, many months that I managed to grasp that these were in fact two quite separate persons — Bhagat Singh and Chandra Shekhar Azad — despite the fact they seemed to be presented with an identical physiognomy.