PHILADELPHIA, PA.- La Salle University Art Museum
presents the exhibition Poetic Visions: Indian Art from the Permanent Collection on view December 17, 2014 February 27, 2015.
This exhibition showcases 38 Indian miniature paintings which were conserved through recent grants from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Most depict secular and religious scenes rendered by artists working in the North Indian painting schools of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills during the 18th and 19th centuries. From portraits of noblemen and secular activities, to religious narratives illustrating Hindu Gods and stories, the miniatures portray a range of subject matter and artistic styles, highlighting the breadth of La Salles collection.
The paintings provide an exciting glimpse of court culture in North India from the 18th century onwards. Many North Indian rulers (rajas) were avid patrons of the arts; and painting, poetry and architecture flourished under their rule. The North Indian courts were places of luxury and beauty, of tradition and prestige, and of great artistic creativity. This exhibition features some of the most prevalent subject matters in court painting: images of nobility and royal power, of feminine beauty and grace, of court poetry and music, and of Hindu stories and deities. Filled with rich and intricate detail, the paintings and drawings on view provide a taste of the vibrant aesthetic of North Indian artists depicting the idealized and sumptuous courtly world around them.
The exhibition is co-curated by Klare Scarborough, Ph.D., Director and Chief Curator of La Salle University Art Museum; and Mekala Krishnan, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Fellow in South Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Indian Rajput paintings in the exhibition are part of a larger collection of over 150 Indian miniatures owned by La Salle University Art Museum. The collection represents a range of Indian painting schools from the 15th through 19th centuries, including Mughal designs and examples from northeastern Indian Mewar, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Sirohi, Nathadwara, Kotah, and Raghogarh Rajasthan Schools; the Punjab Hills School; northwestern Kashmir School; southern Tanjore and Deccan Schools; Delhi Nurpur and Guler Kangra Schools in the north; Ratlam, Malwa School of the Madhya Pradesh state; Hyderabad, and Ellichpur Schools of central India; and Kalighat painting. The collection was developed over the years through purchases and generous gifts of artwork, including significant donations of Indian miniatures between 1982 and 1993 by local psychologist and Indian art collector Dr. Alvin O. Bellak (d. 2004).