The Presentation to Akbar of the Keys of Mankot Fort
An Illustration to the ‘Third Akbarnama’
Opaque pigments and gold on paper within an 18th century mount
Folio: 36 x 23.5cm; Painting: 32.5 x 19.5cm
The title of the show is inspired by a key conversation from the Bhagavata Gita, an ancient Sanskrit text where Krishna reveals to Arjun who he is. The moving passage defines beauty and the divine: encapsulating perhaps the greatest aesthetic theory in Indian art.
Prahlad Bubbar is pleased to present a group of exceptional paintings and objects from South Asia that weave a timeless story: A vision of the Cosmos is seen in the form of the multi-armed Goddess Bhavani emerging from flames, she is the supreme Tantric goddess with sixteen heads. The painting is by Nepal’s preeminent artist of the 19th century, Bhajuman Chitrakar, who travelled to Europe with the King.
An Avant-garde Maharaja invited Eckart Muthesius to build a palace and Constantin Brancusi to build a temple of meditation in central India in the 1930s. ‘Polished form’ becomes the leitmotif in ‘Bird in Space’ and ‘Sun symbol’ by the two artists. ‘High polish extends the boundaries of form blurring its edges with light’. The two Sideboards presented here, by exceptionally rare designer, Eckart Muthesius, were once in the Indore palace and were flanked by the two famous Brancusi ‘Birds in Space’ until the late 1960s.
Antoine Polier’s ‘souvenir’ of Holi, a Mughal painting by Mihr Chand celebrating the festival of colour, comes from a grand album designed for the Swiss adventurer, architect and spy in the 1780s.
A classic masterpiece of Mughal painting is the painting of Emperor Akbar receiving the keys to Mankot fort from Sikandar Shah Suri. This leaf from the third Akbarnama, of circa 1590, represents a high point of manuscript illustration in India.
The spirit world is evoked by a group of arguably the finest examples of Bhuta bronzes in private hands from Coastal Karnataka. This field of tribal Indian art has hitherto received little attention, and the gallery is proud to present some of the very best pieces from an American collection.
Works in the show will include an exceptional leaf from the Palam Bhagavata Purana of 1520, and Pahari paintings and drawings from the Seu-Nainsukh family of the Punjab Hills.
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