Artist from Punjab illustrates French fable

History proclaims that, Baron Bastien Félix Feuillet de Counches, a Frenchman, was an art-lover and a collector who wished to illustrate La Fontaine’s fables. As a minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he would delegate French ambassadors abroad on a mission to find the best illustrators for the fables. He found what he was looking for in Imam Bakhsh Lahori, an artist from Punjab. Though they never saw each other, their name got associated in years to come. Lahori never had any access to the text of the fable. It was only the descriptions that were given to him. However, he was familiar with some of the stories since they were very similar to those of Panchatantra and Tutinama. Today, these miniature paintings of the fables by Imam Bakhsh are the t beautiful production of the Lahori School.

Also speaking at the unveiling was Dr Jean-Marie Lafont, the Consul General of France in Mumbai, who stated, “Just like Indian children grow up reading Panchatantra, French kids grow up hearing fables of La Fontaine. I feel privileged to be in one of the finest heritage buildings in Mumbai and even more so to have this exhibition displayed here.”

The Dream Of An Inhabitant Of Mogul will be open for public display at the museum till April 2 at the Premchand Roychand Hall.

Leave a Reply