Travel To Medieval India Through The MET’s Divine Rajput Paintings | Verve Magazine
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June 24, 2016

Travel To Medieval India Through The MET’s Divine Rajput Paintings

Text by Huzan Tata. All images courtesy The Metropolitan Museum Of Art.

The New York art museum plays host to an exhibition celebrating the magnificence of paintings from our palace courts

Click on any image to view in larger gallery

In the ateliers of Rajasthani palaces, art was created for the personal enjoyment and entertainment of the kings. These creations – portraying Indian epics and poetic literature as well as captivating court vignettes – were produced primarily between the 16th and 19th centuries, under the patronage of the Rajput rulers. Now, viewers can travel to royal India through the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s summer exhibition featuring a selection of these watercolours.

The collection, of nearly 100 paintings, has been put together from former curator Steven M. Kossak and his family’s Kronos Collections, and took almost four decades to assemble. Many of them are being publicly displayed for the first time, and include works from the Bikaner, Bundi, Kishangarh, Kota and Mewar schools, as well as from the smaller courts of North India. Examples of the Early Rajput style will also be on view. Organised by curator Navina Haidar and senior research assistant Courtney Stewart from the institution’s Department of Islamic Art, this show offers a glimpse into the lives of Rajasthan royalty. ‘These distinguished paintings constitute one of the premier collections of this material in private hands, and their eventual addition to the Met collection will transform the museum’s holdings of Rajput painting. It is a significant addition to Steve’s legacy,’ says Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the museum.

Divine Pleasures: Painting from India’s Rajput Courts — The Kronos Collections is on display at The Met Fifth Avenue, New York till September 12, 2016.

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