Posted on: 3 October 2015

Radha and Krishna
By Abdur Rahman Chughtai (Pakistan, 1897-1975)
Watercolour on paper

Abdur Rahman Chughtai is remembered today as possibly the most distinguished Pakistani artist of the 20th century. His work draws from a shared South Asian cultural heritage, and he was one of the few Pakistani artists to be recognized in India before and after the 1947 partition.

Chughtai began his training at the Mayo School of Art in Lahore in 1911, where he was taught by Samarendranath Gupta, himself a pupil of Abanindranath Tagore. The influence of the Bengal School is visible in Chughtai's early work, but what distinguishes Chughtai is his exceptional skill as a draughtsman. Many of his paintings were large-format—exuberant, expansive works rendered in soft, meditative colors and bold, flowing lines. Even his smaller paintings and drawings seem somehow to contain the same freeness.

Chughtai’s work typically portrayed Hindu deities and famous personalities from Islamic and Hindu dynasties—Mughal and Rajuput princes. He depicted gods and courtesans with equal affection. In the mid-1940s, he became obsessed with the idea that he was directly descended from Ahmed Mimar Lahori, the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan's chief architect, believed to be the inspiration behind the Taj Mahal. As specific as the traditions are from which he drew his subject matter, his appeal has proven truly international. As Principal S. Kashmira Singh writes in the introduction to one of his monographs, “For his characteristic style, perfect technique and universal appeal he has been described as the artist of all Nations.”

Text credit: Bonhams
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Nice work

wonderfully magnanimous

"He depicted gods and courtesans with equal affection."

Is he really a descendant of Ahmed Mimar Lahori?

Son of Karim Bukhsh, a family descended from generations of craftsmen, architects, and decorators. Chughtai briefly learnt naqqashi from his uncle Baba Miran Shah Naqqash

Anagha. See if you find this interesting. :)

So enriching in providing treasures value. Really delightdelighted by these information

chugtai is one of the finest artist from the subcontinent

Chughtai's best known works are the series done for Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat, first published from Lahore, with outstanding lithography. Some of the original art works can be seen in Delhi's NGMA, some in Kolkata museum & some in Mysore museum. But the first edition Omar Khayyam is very scarce & expensive now. T.P. Issar's Ghalib book also re-printed Chughtai's Rubaiyat & other art but in glossy print. That edition is still available on Amazon/ Flipkart. Here - a peep into some more of Chughtai master-works, digitized on FB ( )

Lord Krishna, the supreme personality of Godhead. - Srimad Bhagavatam. - Bhagavada - Gita. - Brahma Sumitha.