Exhibition | Seeing the Divine: Pahari Painting of North India

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on December 19, 2018

Radha and Krishna Walking at Night, ca. 1775–80, Punjab Hills, Kingdom of Kangra or Guler
(New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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Press release for the exhibition:

Seeing the Divine: Pahari Painting of North India
The Met Fifth Avenue, New York, 22 December 2018 — 21 July 2019

Curated by Kurt Behrendt

Starting December 22, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will present an 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. 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 (bhakti). Highlights include a rare, early 19th-century temple banner measuring 26 feet that is being shown publicly for the first time. The majority of the works on view are recent promised gifts of Steven Kossak, and they transform The Met’s ability to showcase 17th- to 18th-century North Indian painting of the highest caliber.

Working mostly in miniatures and large-format folios, Pahari artists employed remarkably innovative vocabularies. They often depicted god as a child, a lover, a terrible protector, or even a personal vision. 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. The Monkey Leader Angada Steals Ravana’s Crown from His Fortress (ca. 1725), a folio from the Ramayana (the story of Rama’s quest to save his beloved Sita from the demon Ravana), is attributed to the master painter Manaku (active ca. 1725–60). Radha and Krishna Walking at Night (ca. 1775–80), a folio from the Gita Govinda, depicts Krishna’s emotionally charged interactions with Radha—here, the artist contrasts her solitude and longing with erotically charged encounters to emphasize the idea of unity between god and devotee.

The impressive temple banner recounts the complex story of 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 exhibition is organized by Kurt Behrendt, Associate Curator of the Department of Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is made possible by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation.


Call for Papers | Asia-Oceania and the French-Speaking World

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on December 19, 2018

From H-ArtHist:

Asia-Oceania and the French-Speaking World
University of Hong Kong, 5–6 July 2019

Proposals due by 15 February 2019

Organized by the University of Hong Kong (China) and Laval University (Canada)

The conference will be held in English or French (20-minute papers), addressing a different topic each day (see below). The deadline for applications is the 15th of February 2019. Please email fknothe@hku.hk for the ‘China in Text and Image’ workshop and Guillaume.Pinson@lit.ulaval.ca for the ‘Press’ workshop.

China in Text and Image: Documentary Writing and Art Objects in the Early Modern Era
Friday, 5 July 2019

We invite applications for 20-minute papers presenting original research on either the reception of China in France in written reports or the adaptation of China in France in objects and architecture during the 17th to the 19th centuries. We encourage colleagues in French and comparative literature, anthropology, history and art history to apply, and welcome inter-disciplinary subjects. Our ambition is to publish the papers following the conference to add to the existing scholarship on our topics a group of solidly researched essays on France-China relations and newly explored cross-cultural studies.

The French-Speaking Press of the 19th Century in the Asia-Oceania Region
Saturday, 6 July 2019

As part of the Media 19 project on the literary history of the 19th-century French-language press and the Transfopress network on the foreign-language press, the second day of our conference will focus on the French-language press in the Asia-Oceania region (China, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, etc.). Presentations will include the development of local newspapers and the history of Francophone migration, relations with France, etc. The period under consideration will focus on the 19th century, with the possibility of excursions into the first half of the 20th century. Papers will be considered for contribution to the establishment of a world history of the French-speaking press in the 19th century, under the direction of Diana Cooper Richet and Guillaume Pinson.

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