Antonio Xavier Trindade

Painting-by-A-X-TrindadeHailing from Goa A.X. Trindade, (1870-1935) started his professional career after graduation from art school in Raja deen Dayal’s photographic studio in Bombay tinting photographs. He was acclaimed portrait artist. He was also renowned for intimate interior scences who excelled in the newly accepted school of painting known as Illusionistic Realism, introduced by British artists, became famous as a portrait painter in a short span of time.

Out of the outstanding portrait painters such as Pestonji Bomanji, Pithawala, Mueller, Agaskar, Taskar and Haldankar, Trindade was the one with a distinctive classical approach. His work show perceptiveness, which imparted depth to his portraiture. The purity of tones and freshness of light were reminiscent of the Spanish painters Goya and Velazquez. An artist of exceptional talent, he attempted to project his personal vision in the portraits he painted. Art critics referred to him as the Rembrandt of the East in their reviews. Antonio Xavier Trindade was one of the important painters trained in the earlier batches of Sir. J. J. School of Art. Trindade was born in the Asnova village in Goa in 1869 and had his childhood also there. Continue reading


5383The history of Indian art can be traced to five millennia ago from when the earliest sculptural remnats have been found. the earliest surviving paintings date from the 2nd Century BCE. The mural painting tradition continued alongside paintings in the miniature format from the 14th century onwards. the primary themes of these paintings were sacred: images of deities and narrative scenes from mythologies formed the major corpus until the advent of the Mughals in the 16th century who encouraged’secular’ and contemporary events and people as the subjects for painting.

Five hundred years ago when the mughals ruled India, their being no camera, history was captured and recorded as paintings. The painted records of the Emperors Babur, Akbar and Shahjahan are available from the volumes Babarnama, Akbarnama and Padshahnama. Continue reading

Pestonji Bomanji

Pestonji-BomanjiPestonji Bomanji was a leading artist during his period. Bomanji (1851-1938) had initially considered becoming a sculptor and so joined classes under Kipling,who was quite impressed by a perfect model of a rosette that he had made. When Kipling, was transferred to Lahore, Bomanji started attending painting classes conducted by Griffiths and went on to work at the Ajanta Caves.

By 1877, Bomanji had left the school and had set up his own independent studio. He soon became much sought after for his portrayals of life around him especially of his own community. In works like the Parsee Girl(1887), a young Parsi girl is shown in the forground dressed in all her traditional finery with the edges embroidered in exquisite detail. A curtain drapes her from one side ,echoing the works of Ravi Varma, who used curtain for dramatic effects, thereby providing his subjects with a larger than life reality. With a winsome smile on her face, she scribbles over a painting of a Brahmin reading the scriptures, also reminiscent of Ravi Varma’s method of underpinning a stated fact. This is perhaps Bomanje’s only painting that is layered with subterranean meanings.

His other paintings are mainly narrations of event that reflect his own milieu in a naturalistic manner. The accurate perception of reality that lent his works an authenticity and won him prizes at many exhibitions, such as at Calcutta in 1879 and subsequently at the International Exhibition in 1883-84. Then again, at the inaugural show of the Bombay Art Society in 1889, his paintings Parsi tiger Slayer was judged the best exhibit, albeit in by a native. He was commissioned to paint the portraits of the Prince and Princes of Walesa and various Indian prices. He had received the Viceroy’s Gold Medal in 1879, and again in 1893.