This book Deccani Scroll Paintings is the first comprehensive study of all aspects of a unique tradition of narrative scroll paintings in India. These scrolls have been used for over four hundred years in the north-western region of the present Andhra Pradesh state by Telugu-speaking itinerant picture-showmen belonging to a community entitled to perform before people of certain caste. The bock provides hitherto unknown material to scholars about the artists, the picture-showmen, their patron-caste, viewers, performance, stylistic development, influence of the Vijayanagara and Nayaka-period painting on them, technique and material used for painting, and, most importantly, the caste-based legends performed before certain patron-caste people, which, so far were not available to others. This book also surveys historical facts and social conventions prevailing in this part of the Deccan when these works were produced.
Although the Deccani scrolls are superior in many respects, when compared to scrolls produced elsewhere in India like, Bengal, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka, and the study about the latter began in the early 1900s, the Deccani scrolls came to the notice of art lovers only after 1965.
The scrolls published in this book are the best among examples so far known. The earliest is a rare work of c. 1625; the others were produced between c. 1775 and c.1900. Great pain was taken to photograph details of these very large-sized works, each about 30 inches wide and over 30 feet long.
This book will inspire art scholars and institutions to undertake further research and record additional information about narrative-scrolls tradition of the Deccan for the benefit of scholars and art lovers.