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Sujanpur Tira, The Cradle of Kangra Art

Title:Sujanpur Tira, The Cradle of Kangra Art
Author:Randhawa, M.S.
Publication:Marg
Enumeration:Vol. 7 Issue no. 3; June 1954, p. 21-36
Abstract:The golden age of Kangra painting under Raja Sansar Chand II (1775) is examined in the historical context of Kangra. Sujanpur -- capital of the Kangra Rajas -- was founded by Sansar's grandfather Ghamand Chand (1761). After the occupation of the Kangra fort by the Sikhs in 1809, the vast collection of paintings with Sansar Chand was broken up, but the largest collection is with Mian Ram Singh, a descendant of Sansar Chand. Many of the paintings in the collection of Raja Dhruvdev Chand are in the Basohli style, which shows that Sansar Chand's court had artists conversant with that style. The paintings supplement the details given by Moorcroft and Ghulam-Mohi-ud-Din on the life of Sansar Chand: his fondness for the good life, the celebration of festivals, and his holding darbar at Sujanpur. After Sansar Chand's death, the Kangra style became stiff and formal. Ultimately, some artists migrated to Lahore and Amritsar and enjoyed the patronage of the Sikhs and Sardars. Thus, the Rajput-inspired Kangra art evolved into the Sikh-inspired art of the Punjab plains.

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