The Raj: India and the British, 1600-1947

Christopher Alan Bayly, Author
Christopher Alan Bayly, Author Abbeville Press $95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55859-848-5
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-85514-026-4
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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. (Aug.)
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