Art beat: Realism and fantasy

Art beat: Realism and fantasy

FRANCIS H D'SA is impressed with the works of 20th century painter RUSTOM SIODIA at Chatterjee &

FRANCIS H D’SAUpdated: Saturday, November 23, 2019, 01:16 PM IST

Ever heard of Rustom Siodia, the 20th century painter? Doubt anyone of this generation or earlier have either!

That is why Mortimer Chatterjee, gallerist and researcher has after a year of painstaking research, brought together a body of work of this celebrated painter so that the art frat of today can get a glimpse and appreciate the art of this 20th century painter in the 21st century.

Born in 1881, along with M V Dhurandhar, Rustom Siodia, can be seen as a successor to Raja Ravi Varma, who created genuine original work with a signature style. He was most active between 1915 and 1939.

At the exhibition here, one of his most admired and loved works is that of Adam and Eve in the Garden Of Eden.

Master of anatomy, perfect understanding of light and shade, particularly liked the way daubs of light interrupted the drama in the garden between Eve and the snake, while Adam languished at the rear with his bow and arrow.

Note the hesitant expression on Eve's face as she is being ' persuaded' to take a bite of the apple in her left hand and the wily cunning expression on that of the snake! The sense of shadow and detailing is to be appreciated. Treatment of the medium is gentle and soft. Colours are muted!

Since his death in 1946, this is the first time a major body of Siodia’s work is on display. The gallerist has worked for more than a year on researching the artist and his art.

Mortimer Chatterjee, who has fore-fronted this exhibition and been the think tank behind this project says, “We feel very fortunate to have worked with the heirs of Rustom Siodia on this exhibition.

The group of works displayed here represent the entire career of the artist, right from his student days to the height of his commissions for the Delhi Imperial Secretariat.

“As a gallery, we are increasingly interested in showing historical material and working with estates in the sense Rustom Siodia is exactly the kind of artist we would like to be associated with.”

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