Rostam kills the White Demon
An Illustration from the Shahnameh
Opaque watercolour and gold on paper.
44 x 29 cm
Private collection UK 1960s.
For this year’s Asia Week New York, Prahlad Bubbar is delighted to present a series of outstanding works from the Persian, Indian and Himalayan worlds, which connect with the theme of abundance as the innate generosity and regenerative power of nature, a quiet observer in all these works. Within the various tableaux we observe contrasting narratives informed by various movements, art schools, and cultures.
Present in all these works is the enveloping power of nature as it makes it restorative force felt and remains the ultimate arbiter of time and destiny. We observe this idea of regeneration and the natural cycle of time in ‘Bathing in the Moonlight’, a miniature attributed to Mir Kalan Khan, ca. 1750-60, where silvered skies and the darkened depths of a tranquil lake help to establish the ritual cycle of a daily bath as a restorative performance of renewal and hope in the emerging day.
Other paintings express the abundant and generous quality of nature in more dramatic choreography. In a plate from the Shahnameh, the long epic Persian poem, man and beast battle for supremacy in a darkened grotto, framed by vivid pink rock formations while various fantastical beings observe the proceedings. Above this extraordinary denouement, the quiet and patient disposition of the environment is felt as trees in the background display beautiful leaves within the density of a florid background. Trees act as sentinels, and witnesses, to the human condition, confident that this, too, shall pass.
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