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Modern & Contemporary Indian Art Modern & Contemporary Indian Art A. R. CHUGHTAI (1897 - 1975)
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Introduction by Justice S. A. Rahman
Text in English and Urdu
Published in Lahore by Chughtai himself in 1968
Former Pakistan President Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq’s signed presentation copy to US Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger dated 30.9.1983, with Weinberger’s library bookplate inside the front cover.
Weinberger [1917-2006] was US Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan from 1981-1987.
pp. 395 with 39 tipped-in colour plates, 24 photogravures, 8 calligraphic plates and 1 etching.
Each painting and photogravure has the English translation of Iqbal’s quatrain on which it is based on the facing page.
Full cloth binding with fine dust jacket covered with plastic.
According to a publicity brochure for the book, issued by Chughtai, the edition was limited to 275 copies.
The book has 72 works by Chughtai, most which were painted by him after 1950 specially for this work and are not to be found in other books by him. He had this idea to publish a book on Iqbal’s poetry in 1953 but due to financial troubles to carry out the massive and lavish project it took him 15 years to complete it. The Government of Pakistan approved a grant for the book but due to change in government he could get only part of it. The final cost was Rs 3 lakhs and it was marketed at a prohibitive price of Rs 1500 / $ 315 / GBP 131.
A number of copies were eventually taken by the Pakistan government for giving away to visiting dignitaries since by then Chughtai had acquired the stature of a national artist. It can be considered the most expensive and lavish project for a book by or about any artist of the sub-continent until today. Chughtai originally had this idea of getting the entire book printed in England but the printers expressed their inability to take care of the Urdu text. Finally, only the plates were printed in the UK and the text was printed by Nissar Art Press, Lahore, under Chughtai’s supervision.