Artwork by Indian artist Mahaveer Swami for sale in James J. White Auction

James J. White was an avid collector of Indian art.  He visited five times; over those visits he developed a profound love of Indian culture, including Indian art, music, and food.  It was here that he discovered artwork by Mahaveer Swami.

Two exquisitely painted miniatures by Swami depict the high quality art in the auction (

Indian artist Mahaveer Swami follows the classical Mughal Art style.  Swami works exclusively on fine antique papers and the colors in his paintings come from hand ground stones and minerals.  He is part of a long line of Bikaneri Painters.

His style is strongly influenced by his studies of Mughal miniatures. Mughal Art emerged from Persian miniature paintings in the 16th century; the style was influenced by Indian Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist artistic styles.  Unlike Persian painters who transformed paintings to tapestries of colors, Mughal painters use colors sparingly.  Brush strokes depend on the personality of each individual painter.  Mahaveer Swami exquisite brushwork and hint of color proves that contemporary and traditional Mughal Art exists seamlessly.

The James J. White auction features 8 other lots of Mahaveer Swami’s artwork.

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Francois Nicolas Martinet, Exhibiting Artist in James J. White Collection Auction

The James J. White Collection will be auctioned off at Concept Art Gallery on Saturday, February 20th 2010, beginning at 10 AM. One of the artists featured in the collection is Francois Nicolas Martinet. Born in 1773, Martinet was a French engineer and engraver.

Martinet is best known for his engraved plates inspired by natural history, especially ornithology. One of his works, Martin Pecheur, Parrott, The Jay (lot 15), is a hand colored engraving that depicts two birds posed on branches. Martinet engraved similar illustrations of birds for books by some of the most influential ornithologists in 18th-century including John Ray, Mathurin Brisson, and Georges Louis Leclerc, to name a few.

In the 1700s most skilled craftsmen who created bird illustrations for books were not categorized as “fine” artists because, unlike fine artists, they did not produce paintings of birds for their artistic beauty. In fact, ornithological books were produced primarily for the identification and classification of the birds.

Yet François Martinet distinguished himself from other bird engravers because he learned how to bring realism to his bird illustrations, a skill not easily acquired. Earlier engravings often depicted birds disproportionately and in unnatural poses, which made it difficult for anyone, other than an experienced ornithologist, to identify the given species.

Aside from bird engravings, the James J. White Collection also includes an array of art and antiques ranging from Botanical Illustrations and prints by internationally recognized Artists to fine 19th Century American Still Life and Contemporary Indian Art.

For more information on the James J. White Collection and to see the fully illustrated catalog, visit

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