Obituary | Published:


Nature volume 135, page 258 (16 February 1935) | Download Citation



MR. ERNEST BINFIELD HAVELL, whose death at the age of seventy-three years occurred on December 30, was well known as one of the foremost authorities on Indian art, architecture and technology. He first went to India as superintendent of the Madras School of Art, and in 1896 was transferred to the Calcutta School, retiring from the Education Service in 1908. While at Calcutta he founded what has since come to be known as the Calcutta school of painting, and it was largely owing to his interest in indigenous industries that the village hand-loom industry was revived. An intense and enthusiastic appreciation of the aims of Indian art, especially of the Mogul and Rajput schools, was the basis of his conviction that the only future possible for a living school of art in India lay in an evolutionary development of the indigenous art, free from the influence of European ideals and methods. The enthusiastic welcome and support his views received from the Nationalist party in India proved an embarrassment rather than an assistance when, after his retirement, he endeavoured to promote in England a better understanding of India's artistic achievement. Mr. Havell was a voluminous writer on Indian art and technology, his best-known work being a “Handbook of Indian Art” (1920).

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