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Celebrating India’s 74th Independence Day 

The Indian independence movement was a beacon of inspiration to many struggling people all over the world. Throughout the early part of the last century, the world watched with amazement as the people of a vast land, almost totally without any violence, fought and eventually defeated a mighty colonial power. 
Popular art, as we know it today, was born in the dying years of the 19th century, spurred by the genius of Raja Ravi Varma and the emergence of cheap printing technology. The Indian print is part of a strong tradition of art for the masses. It has been used for dissemination of information, entertainment, advertising and propaganda. 
The idea of printing caught on in a big way when India was in the throes of fighting British colonial rule and it was not long before the images of the well known political figures of the day, all of whom had caught the imagination of an oppressed populace in India and beyond, were on posters, labels and calendars. Printing presses like the Ravi Varma Press, Chitrashala Press, Brijbasi & Sons, Swastik Picture House and Photo Service Company churned out prints in large numbers. The heroes of the freedom movement were elevated to the status of quasi-divinity. These were sold cheap in shops or distributed on the streets and came to be identified as street art. 
Today, these posters and prints are difficult to obtain and have become collectors’ items. They provide not only a historic account of a particularly turbulent and inspiring time in modern India’s history, but also hold their own as works of art. Our collection of lithographs, photographs and prints honours the freedom fighters and movement that helped India achieve her independence.

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