Film - Feature | September 6 | 7 p.m. | Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Nainsukh (c. 17101778) came from a family of painters that settled in Guler in the northern hills of India. Growing up in an atmosphere of bold experimentation, Nainsukh enthusiastically took to the fluent naturalism of Mughal painting, notably setting his own artwork apart from the idealized approach to portraiture adopted by other Indian miniaturists of his time. In around 1740, he entered the service of Raja Balwant Dev Singh of Jasrota and was given rare entrée into the princes life, which included horse riding in the countryside, enjoying performances by court musicians, smoking hookah, hunting, and carnal pleasures. During this period, through the coming together of a sophisticated patron and a greatly gifted painter, a compelling body of work emerged, rendered in an individual, delicate way and imbued with heart-warming humanity. Amit Dutta painstakingly recreates Nainsukhs brilliant miniatures through sumptuous compositions set amid the ruins of the Jasrota palace as well as the splendid hilly scenery. By harmoniously juxtaposing the gorgeous visuals with an outstanding sound design, the filmmaker produces a unique work of art, a living painting itself, which stands on its own. He breathes new life into the old creations by accentuating their timelessness, reviving the intimacy of the grand worlds of the past through the time-defying medium of cinema.
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