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Lot No :



Estimate: Rs 40,000-Rs 60,000 ( $485-$725 )

Women of India and The Peoples of Bombay [Set of two with illustrations by M V Dhurandhar]

a) Otto Rothfeld, Women of India, Bombay: D. B. Taraporevala, 1928, second impression

viii + 223 pages including 48 colour plates by Rao Bahadur M V Dhurandhar; blue cloth binding with gilt title on spine, with pictorial dust jacket
8 x 6 in (20 x 15 cm)

b) Percival Strip and Olivia Strip, The Peoples of Bombay, Bombay: Thacker and Co., Ltd., 1944

48 pages including 15 colour plates by Rao Bahadur M V Dhurandhar; cloth bound with dust jacket
9.9 x 6.6 x 0.3 in (25.2 x 17 x 1 cm)

M V Dhurandhar's artistic brilliance shines in this lot through his illustrations contributed to Otto Rothfeld's Women of India (1928) and The Peoples of Bombay (1944).

In the former, Dhurandhar's illustrations delicately capture the essence of Indian women, portraying their diversity and cultural richness. Dhurandhar's art adds depth and cultural richness to the portrayal of Indian women, capturing the essence of their lives and traditions. The book has illustrations by Dhurandhar showing women of all parts of India in traditional costumes. It showcases marriage in India, and the various classes of women, from the aristocracy and the middle classes to the working classes and dancing girls.

In The Peoples of Bombay, Dhurandhar's visual storytelling comes to life, offering a captivating glimpse into the varied lives within the bustling city. His illustrations further showcase his skill in depicting the diverse tapestry of Bombay's inhabitants. Through intricate details and a keen eye for local nuances, he contributed to a visual narrative that celebrated the vibrant mosaic of Bombay's people.

Through these works, M V Dhurandhar not only left an indelible mark on the artistic representation of India but also contributed significantly to the cultural documentation of both Indian women and the people of Bombay.

Mahadev Visvanath Dhurandhar, also called Rao Bahadur, a title bestowed on him by the British government, was the first Indian director of the Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai.

He was born on March 18, 1867 in Kolhapur (a district in Maharashtra). His father understood and supported his son's extraordinary artistic talents and put him under the tutorship of the famous painter Abalal Rehman. The next step was the Sir J J School of Art in Mumbai, which he joined in 1890.

Dhurandhar was exposed to the works of European and British artists, with the entire faculty at the school being from Britain. Unlike Eastern cultures, where art was oriented towards line drawing, in the West it was pictorial heavy. Fascinated by this form of art, Indian students too began emulating the European Academic art form, and Dhurandhar was a product of the same school of art. He painted a lot of figurative works and studies of people like Raja Ravi Varma.

His famous painting, Women At Work, got him a British Government Award in 1892, while still a student. Yet another black and white illustration, Marriage Ceremony won him a gold medal in 1908.

In 1896, Dhurandhar was invited by the Sir J J School of Art to join the institute as a teacher. In 1910, he was appointed the Principal, and in 1930, became the first Indian to be appointed director of the art school.

He rode the art scene in Mumbai in those years, and through his solo exhibitions as well as group shows, his works became popular among the classes and the masses. This at a time when the concept of solo shows was unheard of.

His works include more than 5,000 paintings and 50,000 illustrations. He won more than five gold medals, to say nothing of silver ones in his lifetime. But by 1931, he sought retirement, three years after he was awarded the title of Rao Bahadur by the British government.

Mahadev Dhurandhar died in Mumbai in 1944. Many of his paintings were preserved by his daughter, Ambika, who was also a student of the Sir J J School of Art. One of his paintings still hangs at Buckingham Palace, and another one is in the South Kensington Museum. Royal family palaces and Maharaja retreats across India still own several of his works.

(Set of two)