The tumultuous last decades of British colonialism in India were catalyzed by more than the work of Mahatma Gandhi and violent conflicts. The concurrent upheavals in Western art driven by the advent of modernism provided Indian artists in post-1920 India a powerful tool of colonial resistance. Art historian Partha Mitter explores in this book this lesser known facet of Indian art and history. Taking the 1922 Bauhaus exhibition in Calcutta as the debut of European modernism in India, 'The Triumph of Modernism' probes the intricate interplay of Western modernism and Indian nationalism in the evolution of colonial-era Indian art. Mitter casts his gaze across a myriad of issues, including the emergence of a feminine voice in Indian art, the decline of 'oriental art', and the rise of naturalism and modernism in the 1920s. Nationalist politics also played a large role, from the struggle of artists in reconciling Indian nationalism with imperial patronage of the arts to the relationship between primitivism and modernism in Indian art.

Access level


Location code


Publication/Creation date


No of pages




No of copies


Content type


Chapter headings

The Formalist Prelude

The Indian Discourse of Primitivism

1. Two Pioneering Women Artists

2. Rabindranath Tagore's Vision of Art and the Community

3. Jamini Roy and Art for the Communtiy

Naturalists in the Age of Modernism

1. The Regional Expressions of Academic Naturalism

2. From Orientalism to a New Naturalism: K. Venkatappa and Deviprosad Roy Chowdhury

Contested Nationalism: The New Delhi and India House Murals

The Triumph of Modernism: India's Artists and the Avant-garde, 1922-1947
Rights statement

In Copyright

What does this mean?

This item is covered by one or more copyrights. It is available for research only or use within Hong Kong’s fair dealing rules. Please do not copy, re-use or reproduce this item without the permission of the copyright holder.

The Triumph of Modernism: India's Artists and the Avant-garde, 1922-1947