Monday, June 13, 10 a.m.–noon Transcendent Paintings from Northern India’s Rajput Courts at the Met (Jun 14 Tue-Sep 12 Mon)

Exquisite, timeless food for the soul, another huge step forward in the great series of shows from Indian art presented by the Met in the past year, these 100 paintings from the mid 1500s to the 1800s in Northern India embody the extensive myths and legends of the Hindu Gods and folk tales which are heavily rooted in human life and nature and they caress these topics with a gentle brush in forms and colors which soothe the soul and feed meditation on simple and elemental aspects of existence which is so easily swept away in the rush and cacophony of contemporary Manhattan life, transporting any viewer who lingers and studies them carefully into a lost past era where such works were rare treasures prepared for royals which were specifically aimed at inspiring contemplation of a delightful kind, in this case courtesy of a gift by Steven M. Kossak from his family’s Kronos Collections.

The Village Beauty. Probably painted by the artist Fattu (active ca. 1770-1820). Illustrated folio from the dispersed “Kangra Bihari” Sat Sai (Seven Hundred Verses). Punjab Hills, kingdom of Kangra, ca. 1785. Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper; narrow yellow and white borders with black inner rules; dark blue spandrels decorated with gold arabesque; painting 7 3/8 x 5 3/16 in. (18.7 x 13.2 cm), page 8 1/8 x 5 7/8 in. (20.6 x 14.9 cm). Promised Gift of the Kronos Collections, 2015 (SK.082)

Created between the 16th and the early 19th century, and intended to move the soul and delight the eye, nearly 100 paintings from the royal courts of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills in northern India will be shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning June 14. Compelling episodes from Hindu epic and poetic literature of the Indian subcontinent dominate the exhibition Divine Pleasures: Painting from India’s Rajput Courts—The Kronos Collections. Assembled over nearly four decades, the works demonstrate the galaxy of styles that developed in the principalities of northern India. Most of the paintings are a 2015 promised gift by Steven M. Kossak from his family’s Kronos Collections.

#DivinePleasures

Divine Pleasures: Painting from India’s Rajput
Courts—The Kronos Collections Divine Pleasures
Navina Haidar, exhibition curator
Exhibition Dates: June 14–September 12, 2016
Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Floor 2, The Charles Z. Offin Gallery,
Karen B. Cohen Gallery, Harriette and Noel Levine Gallery, Galleries 691–693
Press Preview: Monday, June 13, 10 am–noon

Compelling episodes from the epic and poetic literature of the Indian subcontinent dominate the nearly 100 masterful paintings—most a 2015 promised gift by Steven M. Kossak from his family’s Kronos Collections—that will be shown at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning June 14. Created mainly between the 16th and the early 19th century for the royal courts of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills in northern India, the works on view in the exhibition Divine Pleasures: Painting from India’s Rajput Courts—The Kronos Collections are meant to move the soul and delight the eye. Suffused with the powerful imagery of the myths of the past, Indian painting expressed a new way of seeking the divine through bhakti, or personal devotion. The collection was assembled over nearly four decades by Mr. Kossak, formerly a curator in The Met’s Department of Asian Art.

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