The Printed Picture: Four Centuries of Indian Printmaking

Yamini Telkar [Left] speaking to Asia Society members

Mumbai, 19 September 2016 - Yamini Telkar Gallery Director of DAG Modern Mumbai revived the forgotten art of print making through the walk in tour of the DAG Modern’s print making collection. Print making as she said, is the magic of creating something. Printmaking arrived in India in the 16th century when visiting European Jesuits brought the first printing presses to Goa. It emerges from a technical skill set of making prints. It flourished as an industry under colonial British rule, and the growth of the vernacular printing industry spawned several indigenous schools of printmaking located in the bazaars of urban centers like Calcutta, Pune, Bombay, Mysore and Lahore.

Printmaking consists of a wide range of processes: relief printmaking which consists of techniques like engraving, woodcut and linocut; Planographic Processes such as lithography and oleography. Oleography, simply put, meant lithography with colour. The Hindu mythology appealed to the Europeans who came to capture the Indian mystique. Print making used copper and zinc engravings since they were sturdy and could resist pressure. Printmaking first emerged in Germany and was brought to India by the celebrated artist, Raja Ravi Verma who used a lot of western influences in his body of work.