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Procession

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Pencil and watercolour on paper laid on card
13 3/8 × 20 3/8 in. (34 × 51.8 cm.)

Signed ‘L. N. TASKAR’ lower left

Movement, drama, and conflicting emotions — profound mourning and a spirited carnival — are rendered here in watercolour in Taskar’s depiction of a Muharram procession in Mumbai. Since the eighth century, Shia Muslims around the world commemorate the death of Hussain in the battle of Karbala by parading replicas of the Imam’s coffin in a procession. This centuries-old tradition was observed across the Indian subcontinent, and Hindu rulers, like the Peshwas, also patronised and supported this ritual. Records from Western Maharashtra referred to the day as ‘Imam Jayanti’ and people from all religions participated, making it an almost secular event. Taskar documents this dual spirit of lament and of celebration, with his signature style of delicate watercolour and a soft palette, using white pigment alongside bursts of colour. The warm light adds luminosity to the large tazia. The composition leaves parts of the foreground empty, with the crowd moving distinctly from right to left. The artist has cleverly depicted the scene at a cross-road, thereby allowing him a clever use of perspective with the crowded buildings and people moving down the street. Taskar’s training in architecture is evident with the attention he paid to the buildings: balconies resting on beautifully rendered brackets, careful depiction of windows and shutters, decorations on façades, and receding street views, all incorporating the different styles of buildings found in Mumbai. Taskar was not only a keen observer of urban landscape, but also of the people who populated it. In this image, he depicts costumes with great attention to detail; the style of each sari, the colourful dupattas and the distinctive headgear of the various members of the procession, each referencing a specific region or community.

*NATIONAL ART TREASURE - NON-EXPORTABLE ITEM (Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale at the back of the catalogue)
Condition: The paper tones of the original are less creamy than the catalogue illustration and appear to be slightly discoloured with age. The colour tones are slightly less saturated than the original. Minor scattered abrasions and pigment loss visible within the sky at the centre of the work, and foliage to the left edge, as partially visible in the catalogue illustration. Not examined out of frame. Overall good condition.

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Time, Location
25 Apr 2024
India, Mumbai
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[ translate ]

ANOTHER PROPERTY

Pencil and watercolour on paper laid on card
13 3/8 × 20 3/8 in. (34 × 51.8 cm.)

Signed ‘L. N. TASKAR’ lower left

Movement, drama, and conflicting emotions — profound mourning and a spirited carnival — are rendered here in watercolour in Taskar’s depiction of a Muharram procession in Mumbai. Since the eighth century, Shia Muslims around the world commemorate the death of Hussain in the battle of Karbala by parading replicas of the Imam’s coffin in a procession. This centuries-old tradition was observed across the Indian subcontinent, and Hindu rulers, like the Peshwas, also patronised and supported this ritual. Records from Western Maharashtra referred to the day as ‘Imam Jayanti’ and people from all religions participated, making it an almost secular event. Taskar documents this dual spirit of lament and of celebration, with his signature style of delicate watercolour and a soft palette, using white pigment alongside bursts of colour. The warm light adds luminosity to the large tazia. The composition leaves parts of the foreground empty, with the crowd moving distinctly from right to left. The artist has cleverly depicted the scene at a cross-road, thereby allowing him a clever use of perspective with the crowded buildings and people moving down the street. Taskar’s training in architecture is evident with the attention he paid to the buildings: balconies resting on beautifully rendered brackets, careful depiction of windows and shutters, decorations on façades, and receding street views, all incorporating the different styles of buildings found in Mumbai. Taskar was not only a keen observer of urban landscape, but also of the people who populated it. In this image, he depicts costumes with great attention to detail; the style of each sari, the colourful dupattas and the distinctive headgear of the various members of the procession, each referencing a specific region or community.

*NATIONAL ART TREASURE - NON-EXPORTABLE ITEM (Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Sale at the back of the catalogue)
Condition: The paper tones of the original are less creamy than the catalogue illustration and appear to be slightly discoloured with age. The colour tones are slightly less saturated than the original. Minor scattered abrasions and pigment loss visible within the sky at the centre of the work, and foliage to the left edge, as partially visible in the catalogue illustration. Not examined out of frame. Overall good condition.

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Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
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Reserve
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Time, Location
25 Apr 2024
India, Mumbai
Auction House
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