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Historical strokes

The Delhi chapter of Urban Sketchers has put together an exhibition of on-location sketches of the tombs of Delhi

If you have visited a monument in Delhi on a Sunday morning, you must have come across a group of people immersed in their canvas or drawing books, quietly sketching in a corner. Some of these pieces from the weekly sketch meets organised by Urban Sketchers are on display at an exhibition at the India Habitat Centre.

Practising on-location painting, the Delhi chapter of the group is a part of the global organisation called Urban Sketchers, which was started in USA.

Held every Sunday on a pre-fixed location, the aim is to raise the artistic, storytelling, educational value of location drawing and promote the practice by connecting people from around the world, who draw on-location where they live and travel.

As the name — Tombs of Delhi — suggests, the exhibition features sketches of various tombs of the city. It presents a visual treat of the architectural history of Delhi, tracing its evolution to the Indo-Islamic architectural style through various ruling dynasties. “The idea was to capture the architectural evolution of the tombs through sketches. We have tried to depict how certain Indian elements got introduced in the Islamic concept of tombs,” says Niraj Gupta, founder of the Delhi Chapter.


Showcasing around 24 sketches, the exhibition covers the tombs of Iltutmish, Humayun, Sikandar Lodhi and Adham Khan, to name a few. Painted by five regular artists from the group, the sketches are predominantly water colour and ink. Over the past one year, Monali Haldipur, Rituraj Dixit, Juhi Kumar and Geeta Gupta, along with Niraj have captured the beauty of the tombs. A flight attendant, an engineer, a former MD at a multinational company — these artists are a diverse group of people who have come together for the love of art.

Open and free for the public, anybody who wants to learn sketching can register for the weekly sketch meets in the exhibition. The artists will take the learners through all aspects of sketching. “Our attempt is to encourage learners to venture into a path of self-expression and explore the hidden Picasso in them,” adds Gupta.

So, head to the exhibition, on till September 30 to get a glimpse of the chronological evolution of the tombs of Delhi through sketches.