The Italian Almanac

Indian landscape

Italian News / Art - July 18

A new exhibition in Rome offers visitors a fascinating look at India's modern and imperial faces. The show hinges on the juxtaposition of aquatints by 18th Century British artists Thomas and William Daniell and contemporary images of the landscapes they portrayed by Italian photographer Antonio Martinelli.

The results are stunning. Several combinations hint at the massive changes India has undergone over the last two hundred years and draw attention to the threats population growth and urban development pose to some of the sites. But the striking thing is the similarity between the works, giving viewers a powerful impression of the country's enduring beauty.

The show, entitled "Passaggi in India. Ieri e Oggi." (Landscapes in India. Yesterday and Today), features 73 aquatints by the British artists - an uncle and nephew duo - placed next to 73 shots by Martinelli. The aquatints, which have never been displayed in Europe before, are on loan from Calcutta's Victoria Memorial Hall. The Daniells painted them during three journeys around India between 1788 and 1794.