Shammi Bannu


The contemporary history of Indian minature painting is synonymous with the name Bannuji. For artist, Scholars and connoisseurs alike he epitomises all that is good and true in this most venerated of Indian traditions. Descended from a dynasty of artists stretching back over seven generation, his family were amongst the first court painters to settle in Jaipur. Today the family continues to live in their ancestral home of Subhash chowk. The whitewashed walls hold many stories of past generations. One cannot separate Bannuji from this lineage, he considered his father, Manipal and grandfather Mohanlal, to be his greatest mentors.

Together they taught him the craft of miniature painting and the way to realise an inherent sense of tradition. This realisation came at a time when many of India's tradtional arts and crafts were slowly being eroded. The loss of any tradtion marks a deeper spritual loss and perhaps Bannuji felt this more than most. His forefathers legacy would see him honour the tradition of miniature paiting and reconnect to his spiritual ancestry. In following his path he became the last true Master of the craft,a light which will surely guide many for generations.