In a landmark event marking the unveiling of the lost traditions of ancient Indian art, the earliest surviving Hindu painting, photographed and digitally restored by Benoy K. Behl, was unveiled here to a global audience, organizers said here on Saturday.
Behl explained to top international dignitaries, including over two dozen worldwide ambassadors, historians and experts, the importance of the 6th century painting of the Badami Cave Temple – Queen and her companions – in a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the north of Karnataka.
Behl explained how India has a continuous tradition of painting that goes through ancient times and the Middle Ages, and he himself had Indian paintings from 2nd BC. Until AD 13th and the lost ancient Indian wall painting styles documented.
A galaxy of personalities such as ICCR President Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and India’s Sherpa at G7 and G20 Suresh Prabhu, Ex-Cabinet Minister of Guyana Manniram Parshad, Guinea Bissau Minister Rajeshwar Prasad, UITV Chairman Balkrishna Choolun in London. Ashwin Srivastava, CEO of Sapio Analytics, including writers, corporate and media bigwigs.
According to Behl, the ancient murals are the basis of the manuscript pictures and miniatures of the Middle Ages, which was significant as the world has so far studied the tradition of Indian painting since the Middle Ages.
Prabhu discussed “the dependence of a nation’s progress on its culture and art as a manifestation of its culture,” while Sahasrabuddhe pointed out that “through ancient Indian art one can know who we are” and the need to create academic courses experts in digitization and to prepare for preservation of ancient art.
Behl said much of the Badami paintings, as described in the 1950s, were lost when he photographed them in 2001, and seven years later National Geographic magazine was barely seeing anything in 2008 when his team told a big story there .
“Therefore this photograph (by Badami) and the restoration are of considerable importance for the documentation of the tradition of Indian painting,” emphasized Behl.
Sapio Analytics will now show these groundbreaking images and their restored digital versions at exhibitions around the world starting next year, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, announced Srivastava.