Like the highest art of every realm, this selection of jewelry, paintings, textiles, armor, carved stone sculpture, fabled gems, marbelized art, carved weapons and decorative items from India’s pre-colonial peak of maharajah display can provide a spiritual experience.
Refreshing the urban spirit
This exquisite assembly will refresh and feed any spirit starved of grace in the tumult of modern urban materialism with manna from above. Yet, as is typical of Indian art, it celebrates nature rather than rises above it.
A prime example is the ink, watercolor and gold painting on paper above, from Golconda. Click twice to enlarge it to mammoth proportions (3000×3795) and allow your eye and sensibilities to luxuriate in its lively perfection.
Visitors should allow plenty of time to let serendipity work, for all the generalizations about its excellence which will fill the media and the brief descriptions offered in advance by the Met and the critics won’t be complete enough to spoil the many surprising discoveries awaiting the slow moving, attentive art lover.
The $65 catalogue deserves a special mention. More than most shows at the Met, which are always the cream of the museum world, the well written and illustrated volume will be entirely worth the price as both guide and reference.
Huge variety of very fine works
From the heart of the fabled central India mineral kingdom, whose diamonds and other precious stones were the prime source of jewelry till recent times, come wonderful works, in which the artistry and craft often exceed the value of the most valuable gems on show here, which themselves are worth a maharajah’s ransom.
Yogini with Mynah Bird
Sultan Ibrahim ‘Adil Shah II Playing the Tambur
Sultan Ibrahim ‘Adil Shah II Playing the Tambur Ascribed to Farrukh Beg, in an inscription written by Muhammad Husain Zarin Qalam Bijapur, ca. 1595–1600 (painting); Agra, A.H. 1019 (A.D. 1610–11) (album page and inscription) Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper Folio: 16⅝ × 10⅜ in. (42.3 × 26.5 cm) Náprstkovo Muzeum Asijských, Afrických a Amerických Kultur, Prague (A.12182)” width=”1334″ height=”2102