M.V. Dhurandhar

Artist-signed postcards by M.V. Dhurandhar (1867-1944), one of the premiere painters and illustrators around the turn of the century. Dhurandhar became the first Indian head of the J.J. School of Arts and where he was employed throughout his career. Most of these color postcards are from 1903-1904, were halftones and printed in Germany by an unknown publisher. Other cards from later in the decade and thereafter were published by Lakshmi Art Printing Press, and others often for advertising purposes by a variety of publishers in India and as far as Zanzibar.

Orthodox Hindu Widow

Orthodox Hindu Widow

An exquisite Dhurandhar portrait, this of a widow framed in front of a tree and a temple in the background. Orthodox widows were normally not permitted to remarry and had to obey strict dress codes like not wearing a blouse under her sari.

Lascar

Lascar

Lascars were sailors, mostly from the subcontinent, serving on European ships that sailed the world and who spoke their own multinational tongue, "Lascari." Throughout the 16th through 19th centuries many landed in Britain and America, with a few

A Jain Priest

A Jain Priest

Another Dhurandhar postcard masterpiece, with the pale green background and statue of Lord Mahavir, the last Tirthankara of the Jain religion setting off the living priest in the foreground.

Marwari

Marwari

A moneylender strutting through the public square, carrying the ominous red books he uses to chase debtors through the courts, the vibrant city his backdrop.

Brahman

Brahman

The Brahmin, as the art scholar Allan Life has noted, is reluctantly shuffling from tradition to modernity, from the temple behind him to the new city in front of him.

Lessons in Music

Lessons in Music

Lessons in Music was published around 1905, when Dhurandhar participated in the first Bombay Exhibition, the official medal which he designed and received a Gold Medal for, in addition to other awards.

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