HAVELL, Ernest B.

HAVELL, Ernest Binfield. Reading, Berkshire 16.9.1861 — Oxford 20.12.1935 (Wiki 31.12.1834). British Art Historian of India. In 1885-1906 in Indian Educational Service. Son of Charles Richard H. and Charlotte Amelia Lord, educated at Reading School and Royal College of Arts, further studies in France and Italy. In 1884-92 Superintendent of Madras School of Arts, then Reporter to Government on arts and industries. In 1896-1906 Principal of the Calcutta School of Art and Keeper of Government Art Gallery (1902-03 one year in England). In 1916-23 he served in British legation of Copenhagen. Married 1894 or 1895 Angelique Wilhelmina (Lili) Jacobsen (of Denmark), one daughter.

In India Havell reorganized art education on Indian lines and laid foundation to a new school of Indian painting. In the time when most Western scholars held a severely prejudiced negative view of Indian art, he was one of their few positive critics and made an earnest attempt to understand Indian art on the basis of its own aesthetic principles. He was a friend of Abanindranath Tagore, encouraged him and developed with him Indian art education.

Publications: A Handbook of Agra and Taj. 10+130 p. 13 pl. L. 1904; Benares. The Sacred City. 13+226 p. ill. L. 1905.

Essays on Indian Art, Industry and Education. 196 p. Madras 1907; The Basis for Artistic and Industrial Revival in India. 197 p. Madras 1912; The Ideals of Indian Art. 188 p. L. 1920.

Indian Sculpture and Painting, illustrated by typical Masterpieces. With an explanation of their motives and ideals. 288 p. 78 pl. L. 1908; Indian Architecture, its psychology, structure and history from the first Muhammadan invasion to the present day. 260 p. L. 1913; The Ancient and Medieval Architecture of India. A Study of Indo-Aryan civilization. 230 p. 176 ill. L. 1915; A Handbook of Indian Art. 222 p. ill. L. 1920.

– “The Zenith of Indian Art”, OstasZ 1, 1912-13, 1-13, 7 fig.; “Śikhara and Gupta Architecture”,Fs. R. G. Bhandarkar 1917, ??-??.

The History of Aryan Rule in India, from the earliest times to the death of Akbar. 576 p. L. 1918.

– “What is Soma?”, JRAS 1920, 349-351.

The Himalayas and Indian Art. 16+94 p. 24 pl. L. 1924.

A short history of India from the earliest times to the present day. 12+290 p. L. 1924.

Sources: Who Was Who 1929–1940; *B. B. Mukherjee, Visvabh. Q. 25:3-4, 1960, 69-76; Oxford D.N.B.; Wikipedia.

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