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Article

Partha Mitter

(b Calcutta, June 18, 1875; d Calcutta, Feb 23, 1962).

Indian painter. Sunyani belonged to the aristocratic Tagore family family of Calcutta that had led the literary and artistic Renaissance in Bengal in the 19th century. She was the niece of the great poet Rabindranath Tagore and her brother Abanindranath, who had inspired her, was leader of the nationalist art movement in India known as the Bengal school. The first woman artist of India to gain public recognition, she was included in the exhibition of the Society of Oriental Art held in Calcutta in 1922,which also showed the works of Klee, Kandinsky and other Bauhaus artists.

The Austrian art historian Stella Kramrisch became her fervent champion, publicizing her work in the German art magazine Der Cicerone in 1925. In 1927 she was invited to exhibit at the Women’s International Art Club in London. Sunyani’s sources were eclectic. As a child, she was drawn to the devotional pictures that hung in her aunt’s room and the popular mythological prints of the 19th-century academic painter, Ravi Varma. Through her brother Abanindranath, she discovered Rajput miniatures and, above all, the popular urban art of Kalighat, which was appreciated by the intelligentsia for the first time in the 1920s. However, the subject-matter of her art belonged to a private inner world: she claimed that most of her subjects first appeared to her in dreams. Her subject-matter ranged from religious subjects and mythology to portraits, done with simple and bold outlines in transparent watercolours on paper. Although she was the matriarch of a large household, during her most productive years (...

Article

Filippo Pedrocco

(b Verona, 1528; d Verona, 1590).

Italian painter. After the death of his father in 1545, he was brought up by his maternal grandparents, from whom he derived the surname India. He is sometimes referred to as India il vecchio (‘the elder’) to distinguish him from his nephew Tullio India. He was trained in the workshop of Gian Francesco Caroto but proved particularly receptive to the Mannerism emanating from Mantua and Parma. He first worked as a fresco painter in buildings designed by Palladio: the Palazzo Thiene, Vicenza, and the Villa Poiana, Poiana Maggiore, near Vicenza. In the Palazzo Thiene, India decorated three rooms with mythological and fantastic scenes (1555–6), the forms of which reveal the influence of Parmigianino. His works (c. 1560) in the Villa Poiana are inspired by the Mannerist style of Mantua. The frescoes in the Palazzo Canossa, Vicenza, and the lateral façade of the Palazzo Fiorio della Seta (three panels Verona, Castelvecchio) are of slightly later date. In his later works, beginning in the 1570s, he approached Veronese’s use of colour, as can be seen in the numerous altarpieces created for churches in Verona, for example the ...

Article

Michael Curschmann

The medieval term mappa mundi (also forma mundi, historia/istoire) covers a broad array of maps of the world of which roughly 1100 survive. These have resisted systematic classification, but the clearly dominant type is one that aims at comprehensively symbolistic representation. Its early, schematic form is a disc composed of three continents surrounded and separated from one another by water (“T-O Map”) and associated with the three sons of Noah: Asia (Shem) occupies all of the upper half, Europe (Japhet) to the left and Africa (Ham) to the right share the lower half. Quadripartite cartographic schemes included the antipodes as a fourth continent, but the tripartite model was adopted by the large majority of the more developed world maps in use from the 11th century on and—with important variations—well into the Renaissance. While details were added as available space permitted, the Mediterranean continued to serve as the vertical axis and, with diminishing clarity, the rivers Don and Nile as the horizontal one. The map also continues to be ‘oriented’ towards Asia, where paradise sits at the very top. A circular ocean forms the perimeter and not infrequently the city of Jerusalem constitutes its centre....

Article

Diana Gisolfi

(di Marco India)

(b Venice, 1482–5; d Verona, 1561–2).

Italian painter. According to Vasari, he was taught by Giorgione. He moved from Venice to Verona around 1500 and was certainly trained in the workshop of Liberale da Verona. In 1514 he is recorded as living with the noble Giusti family in Verona. The Portrait of a Young Man with a Rose (Munich, Alte Pin.), signed and dated 1516, displays a soft finish and dreamy countenance, and the Portrait of a Man and Woman (Berea Coll., KY) has similar Giorgionesque qualities. The signed Portrait of a Man (c. 1520; Milan, Brera) is more tightly painted, recalling Lorenzo Lotto rather than Giorgione. In the Virgin and Child with Five Saints (c. 1520; Verona, S Zeno) the more finished forms, bright colour and twisting poses reveal an interest in Mannerism; the same characteristics are evident in the altarpiece depicting the Virgin in Glory with the Archangel Raphael and S Giustina...