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Romita Ray
Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY 13244-0001)
The White Elephant: The Picturesque in British India

By the 1790s, the British countryside preoccupied English artists and theorists who debated the relationship between landscape, painting, and garden design. More than any other word, the term "picturesque" was applied frequently to a natural setting to convey its potential for making a pleasing picture. As Britain's colonial ambitions spread across the globe, the picturesque emerged as a powerful aesthetic framework through which a growing empire was made visible. This project is the first systematic investigation of the art of the picturesque in relation to the British Raj by examining how it was used to depict the Indian geography and peoples within the larger framework of British colonial culture and imperial politics. I anticipate undertaking my research between June 5 and August 5, 2009.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2009 – 9/30/2009