Celebrating Delhi on canvas

This exhibition was surely a treat for the Delhiites, young and old alike, as Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) recently hosted a solo painting exhibition, ‘Flaneur in Old Delhi’ by artist Ravinder Dutt.

The solo show of Dutt’s recent artwork captured the rise, fall and making of Delhi over three centuries, from the time of the Mughals to the British era to the contemporary tech-age. Dutt’s visual art was greatly inspired by his deep interest in the history of Delhi, its culture, its archaeology, his own memories of the city and his experiences.

“My paintings in the exhibition have a blend of history, culture and life with images of mythical figures on historical maps and blue prints – where the viewer can see how a city has evolved over the centuries. I have tried to preserve a vintage look in my works, which are constituted by archival prints on canvas by using maps, landscapes and historical stones in the background,” Dutt shared nuggets about his work with Metrolife.

The artist perfectly captured the history of the city in his miniature paintings and old photographs and through these he created a document of experiences and memories of olden times and people of a bygone era.

“I have attempted to show the rich histories of emperors and their dominions through illustration of geographically and architecturally diverse photographs of sites and buildings related to the Mughal dynasty, ranging from Lahore Fort to Chasme Shahi, the gardens in Srinagar,” Dutt said.

An ambassador of time Dutt travels with ease between the past and the present with a pack of cartographer’s tools in hand. Dutt, whose family history in Sialkot, Lahore and Delhi runs back to several centuries, looks for ancient cartography in order to navigate to find the treasure troves of history.

For those who have missed this exhibition at Mati Ghar in IGNCA can visit Gallery Ragini warehouse, next to Sultanpur Metro Station, MG Road from October 3 to 31 and savour moments from a forgotten era.

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