Max Nelson’s writings on film and literature have appeared in n+1, The New Republic, The Threepenny Review, Film Comment, and the online edition of The New York Review of Books, where he is an editorial assistant.
Manish Soni, Nitin Goel, Srinivas Joshi,
Nainsukh (c. 1710–1778) 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 prince’s 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 Nainsukh’s 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.
Museum of Imagination: A Portrait in Absentia
Amit Dutta, India, 2012
Ideas, images, and silences with the great historian of Indian art, B. N. Goswamy.