de Saisset Museum

South Bay's free museum of art and history

 

Miniature Worlds: Art from India

April 10 - May 25, 2007

Nanda Consults the Astrologers, from the Bhagavata Purana, c. 1790, opaque watercolor on paper, 17 x 21 x 1 1/8 in., Collection The Art Complex Museum

Miniature Worlds features watercolors, drawings, and sculpture spanning 400 years of Indian history. Drawn from the permanent collection of The Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA, the exhibition illuminates various forms of Indic media from the 15th to the 19th centuries as well as aspects of the country’s religion and history. Works from this period, many of which depict narratives, have had a significant influence on contemporary artists from India and the United States.

Two major painting traditions, Rajput and Mughal, are represented in the watercolors included in the exhibition. Rajput paintings focus on religious themes and are painted in a native style with bold, flat colors. The majority of Indian art is religious in nature, and images of Hindu and Jain deities comprise one of the five major themes that make up the Miniature Worlds exhibition. The earliest Indian paintings illustrate sacred Jain and Hindu texts. Love, a core theme in Indian art, constitutes another major section of the exhibition. The establishment of the Mughal dynasty in 1526 ushered in new themes, particularly history painting and portraiture. Mughal paintings were created by artists affiliated with the court and reflect a style based on the Persian miniature painting tradition.

All of the works in the exhibition are from the Leland C. and Paula Wyman Collection at The Art Complex Museum, an extraordinary collection of 300 paintings purchased in the late 1960s. Miniature Worlds is curated by Alice R. M. Hyland, Ph.D., of Trinity College, Hartford, CT, in collaboration with Catherine Mayes, senior curator at The Art Complex Museum. Joan Cummins of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Dr. John Seyller of the University of Vermot, both experts in the field, served as exhibition advisors. The exhibition is toured by ExhibitsUSA. The exhibition is a Program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment of the Arts. Support for the presentation of this exhibition at the de Saisset has been provided by the Mamoru and Yasuko Inouye Exhibition Fund.

Image: Nanda Consults the Astrologers, from the Bhagavata Purana, c. 1790, opaque watercolor on paper, 17 x 21 x 1 1/8 in., Collection The Art Complex Museum
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