William Dalrymple

Forgotten Masters

Indian Painting for the East India Company

The Wallace Collection
and Philip Wilson Publishers

2020   |  280 × 240mm   |  192pp

Forgotten Masters Cover

Sibling Rivalry My brother William and I have spent all our lives involved with books. He writes them, I make them; but it has taken thirty years for us to work on one together. With the editor at Philip Wilson Publishers, Clare Martelli, to keep us from reverting to childhood arguments, this publication was a rewarding collaboration. Some images sit effortlessly on a page in reproduction, none more so that these remarkable paintings. And so it was easy for the catalogue to do justice to the acclaimed exhibition.

‘The most beautiful catalogue and most original exhibition I enjoyed this year,’ wrote Bruce Boucher, Director of Sir John Soane's Museum, ‘was Forgotten Masters at the Wallace Collection in London. Curated by [historian and author] William Dalrymple, the exhibition shone a light on the late flowering of Mughal art at the turn of the 19th century with an arresting group of watercolours. It was fascinating to see the miniaturist talents of these artists applied to documenting the flora, fauna, and everyday life of the Raj. The brilliance of the images was matched both by William Dalrymple’s text and the catalogue by his equally distinguished brother Robert.’

‘The results are sensational,’ concurred Jonathan Jones in The Guardian. ‘I suppose it wouldn’t really matter, more than 200 years on, if we remembered or didn’t remember artists whose works were ordinary or minor. But genius deserves a name. Shaikh Zain ud-Din is at least the equal of his English contemporary Stubbs … This exhibition unveils an entire new artistic world that’s been forgotten and misunderstood for centuries.’