NEW YORK: A collection of ancient paintings by Pahari artists from North India depicting Hindu Gods will be on display at the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art here, one of the world’s largest and finest art museums.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present the exhibition focusing on early painting styles that emerged in the Pahari courts of North India during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Featuring some 20 of the most refined paintings produced in South Asia during the period, ‘Seeing the Divine: Pahari Painting of North India’ will examine the innovative ways in which Pahari artists depicted the Hindu gods, the museum said in a press release.
“By juxtaposing devotional images with emotionally charged narrative moments, the paintings gave royal patrons a novel approach to forging a personal connection with the divine through devotion,” it said.
Highlights of the exhibition, which will start on December 22 and end on July 21, 2019, include a rare, early 19th-century temple banner measuring 26 feet that is being shown publicly for the first time.
The impressive temple banner recounts the complex story of Lord Krishna’s rescue and marriage to his first wife, Rukmini, as well as dramatic scenes of Krishna and his many followers fighting a heroic battle in the Himalayan foothills –a battle that represents the great conflict between gods and demons to restore cosmic order.
The majority of the works on view are recent promised gifts of collector Steven Kossak, and they “transform The Met’s ability to showcase 17th- to 18th-century North Indian painting of the highest caliber.”
The release added that working mostly in miniatures and large-format folios, Pahari artists employed remarkably innovative vocabularies, often depicting god as a child, a lover, a terrible protector, or even a personal vision.
It said famous narratives such as the Ramayana and the Gita Govinda (Song of Govinda) had tremendous appeal at the Pahari courts, and the exhibition will include folios that reference both.
Founded in 1870, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest art museums.
Its collection spans 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. Last year it was visited by 4.7 million people.
The Museum’s two-million-square-foot building has vast holdings that represent a series of collections, each of which ranks in its category among the finest in the world. The Museum presents more exhibitions than any art museum in the world.
The more than 30 exhibitions each year represent a wide range of artists, eras, and cultures.