Kerala

Durbar of the Rajah of Travancore, Reception of General Outram and Staff

This coloured engraving shows an assemblage at the Travancore royal court with  James Outram and his staff  and Maharaja of Travancore, Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1814-1860). General James Outram was appointed as a political agent in Lucknow in 1854 and became the region’s first commissioner after the annexation of Oudh State. He was a British… Read more »

Untitled

This work from the series ‘Unborn’ by Anju Acharya (b.1992) illustrates a realistically rendered fish on rice paper. The fish appears to be preparing to give birth. The overarching themes in Acharya’s series ‘Unborn’ are birth, death, and decay. She draws on her personal pregnancy experience. She considers how this connects her to all the… Read more »

Untitled

This work from the series Unborn by Anju Acharya (b.1992),  illustrates a realistically rendered skeleton of a fish. Birth, says Acharya, can only be comprehended entirely when viewed in the context of death. All in between is the process of deterioration. In this piece, she portrays how changes in nature impact the body of living… Read more »

The River Flows in me (Ennilekku Ozhukunna nadi)

This mixed media work by Pradeepkumar charts a landscape in portrait format with a river descending the centre of the picture. Pradeepkumar weaves a narrative centred around the water body to reiterate its power, stillness and ability to destroy and flourish. The work moves beyond notions of the scenic and picturesque to respond to the… Read more »

Tellicherry on the coast of Malabar

This is a view of Tellicherry on the coast of Malabar in the Kannur district. This view was originally illustrated by James Forbes (1749-1819) who arrived in Bombay as a 16-year-old in February 1766 and departed 17 years later after occupying several administrative posts with the East India Company. Only around the end of the… Read more »

Cananoor (Plan of the Cannanore, Kannur Fort)

This is a ground plan of the Kannur Fort in Kerala. The map is attributed to François Valentijn (1666-1727), a Dutch Minister and employee of the VOC (Dutch East India Company). Don Francesco de Almedia, the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, constructed the Kannur Fort, also known as St. Angelo’s Fort, in 1505. For more… Read more »

Age of the Empires

The thrill of serendipity, the awakening of the imagination, the inevitability of being devoured heart and soul by a world you didn’t even know existed until this moment. In a way, being a student of history is like being an astronomer. Especially if the subject of study is an ancient or forgotten kingdom. Click to… Read more »

Of Silk and Spice: A Tale of Two Empires

Sometimes rulers are remembered in song, sometimes in the clinking of coins. Let’s explore the empires of the Cheras and Kushans, whose greatness is echoed in the trade routes they forged

The City of Kochi located on the coast of Malabar

This map, whose title translates to The City of Kochi located on the coast of Malabar, was created in the early 1700s to help sea-traders travelling from other regions to Coetsjien (Kochi). The map was a hand-coloured copper engraving by Francois Valentijn, an explorer and naturalist from the Netherlands who wrote about the history of… Read more »

Chitra Thirunal Bala Rama Verma, One Fanam of Travencore Mint

The kingdom of Travancore was a Hindu feudal kingdom till 1858 and later an Indian princely state ruled by the lankini Travancore royal family. In ancient times, the region had been ruled by the Cheras, Cholas and briefly by the Vijayanagara dynasty, until it became an independent state in the mid-18th century. The Travancore royals… Read more »

Creation of Other

A lot of Pradeepkumar’s work deals with the subject matter of figures and their role in a world that was created for them. His art invites the viewer to lurk into this world of shrubbery and nature to try to understand its significance. His focus on native and rural aspects directly alludes to his identity… Read more »

That Day in The Forest

In this painting, Dibin Thilakan is tapping into the realm between the conscious and subconscious. This painting has seven different figures, all in neatly sectioned parts of the artwork, engaging in completely different activities. This painting is almost like an aerial-view of the forest, offering a voyeuristic perspective on couples having sex, a Narcissus-like man… Read more »

Dibin Thilakan – Tales of the Land

When confronted with his captivating canvases, you dive head-first into the stories told by his sinewy figures, floating amidst ebullient swirls of colour

Map of the Coasts of Malabar, Coromandel and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)

This Latin map by Johann Baptist Homann is an important historical record as it shows English, Dutch, French, Danish and Portuguese establishments in the Deccan in the early 1700s.  Johann Baptist Homann was a German cartographer, geographer, publisher and engraver of the mid-17th century. His family business was perhaps the most famous German map publishing… Read more »

The Prospect of Cranganor

This is an engraving on Hand-made paper, after Hilippus Baldaeus (1632 – 1672). Craganor is the Anglisised name of the region of Kodungallur, a municipality in the Thissur district of Kerala. In history, the place was one of the leading ports and commercial centres of South India, also associated with the ancient port town of… Read more »

Chera, Copper, Un-inscribed

The Chera dynasty ruled in southern India during the Sangam age between 3rd Century BC and 9th Century AD. During this time, the biggest empires in the region were the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. The Cheras, who controlled the west Malabar coast, were the first powerful dynasty from Kerala and hence given the moniker Keralaputras,… Read more »