Signed and dated 'RAZA '77' (lower right)
Further signed, titled, dated and inscribed 'RAZA / "Rajasthan" / 1977 / acrylic on paper / 65 x 50 cm' (on the reverse)
Initialed twice and further titled in Hindi (on the reverse)
Acquired directly from the artist
Alain Bonfand, Raza, Paris, 2008, p. 101 (illustrated)
The 1970's was a period where Raza’s stress on his Indian sensibilities became most apparent. Having left for France in the early 1950's, Raza’s sense of memory – particularly of his childhood tryst with the earth, forests and rivers – played a strong role in shaping his artistic worldview. These memories were reinstated and patched together in the frequent visits he would make to India through the 1960s.
Drawing from the miniature traditions of the Rajputs and the landscapes of Rajasthan, Raza addressed this sense of nostalgia through major parts of the 1970's and 1980's. The melange of colours and distinct brush strokes evoke a vibrant representation of Indian landscapes, while retaining a non-representational quality that had become typical to Raza by this period.
"Sometime between 1975 and 1980, I began to feel the draw of my Indian heritage. I thought: I come from India, I have a different vision; I should incorporate what I have learned in France with Indian concepts. In this period, I visited India every year to study Indian philosophy, iconography, magic diagrams (yantras), and ancient Indian art, particularly Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain art. I was impressed by paintings from Basholi, Malwa, and Mewar, and began combining colours in a manner that echoed Indian miniature painting." (Raza in conversation with Amrita Jhaveri, Sotheby’s Preview, March/April 2007, p.57)