Walter Langhammer (Austria, 1905-1977)
oil on canvas, signed lower right, framed
Executed circa 1938.
Walter Langhammer (1905-1977) was an Austrian Jewish professor who fled the Nazi regime and came to Bombay where he became a major figure in the artistic life of the city. He was central to the Bombay Art Society (an institution important due to the lack of commercial galleries) and was an inaugural artist at Bombay's first gallery, the Chemould. He helped develop the art direction of the Times of India Group to a high level, and associated closely with the architects and interior designers of Bombay's Art Deco cinemas and Bauhaus-influenced apartments which represent important examples of Modernism. The present work derives strongly from European 'noble cultivator/worker' imagery of the Modernist era (including the promotion of women's roles in that imagery), which should not be confused with Langhammer's illustrations for the Times of India Annual, for which he developed a looser style.