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Poetry and Devotion in Indian Painting: Two Decades of Collecting

Date:  2021-05-24 18:25:18
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The exhibition of Poetry and Devotion in Indian Painting: Two Decades of Collecting is held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 15th June to 4th December 2016. The exhibition features 22 of the dozens of Rajput and Pahari paintings. Poetry and Devotion in Indian painting recognize the contributions of Steven Kossak who was a curator in the department of Asian art from 1986 to 2006. Steven Kossak inherited some of the paintings from his family but bought others for his pleasure, but he became the curator at Metropolitan Museum of Art, the new Indian department ("Poetry and Devotion in Indian Painting: Two Decades of Collecting" 2016). The prestigious paintings compose of one of the premier collections of the material in private hands. The exhibition serves as an addition legacy to Steve Kossak after serving as a curator for two decades and also involving in the collection of the Indian painting for two decades.

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Three main sections of the exhibition are arranged which include; Early Rajput and Rajasthan, Early Pahari and late Pahari. The paintings that are portrayed show the relation of feminism and the Indian Hinduism. Paintings done by Rajput are mainly intended for absolute pleasure and to explore the fantasy of painting in the pictures. The power and magic of the images at the exhibition portray feminism with unique paintings. The use of gold and silver and the use of opaque watercolor and ink makes the paintings at the exhibition look appealing. The attractive white color replicates the pearls, and the presence of beetle-wing casings stand in for emeralds. Filled with the imagery about the past and the myths of the religion, Indian painting expresses a new way to seek divine through personal devotion.

The Art of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts

The art of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts is held at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Fifth Avenue from 16th January 2016 to 15th January 2017. At the exhibition of Nepalese and Tibetan art, the collection is filled with major gifts. The collection involves features that were promised, and the recent works are now refurbished galleries. The 16th century Tibetan Hevajra mandala tangka, 13th century bronze Vajravarahi and 12th century Tibetan bronze Padmapani are all included in the exhibition. Tangka is a form of Tibetan Buddhist painting that is done on a silk or cotton usually figuring out the Buddhist deity. Nrtyadevi which is a large wood sculpture of the Goddess of Dance is shown at the Nepalese gallery, and this shows femininity. All the art at the exhibition shows the generosity character of Steve and Sharon Davies, Ann and Gilbert Kinney, Florence and Herbert lrvinag and the Zimmerman Family ("The Arts Of Nepal And Tibet: Recent Gifts" 2016). The appealing collection and the appreciation of femininity showed at the Nepal and Tibet recent gifts art rest on the detailed religious and cultural foundations. Almost all the goddess portrayed, originated from India and all of them were adapted and later integrated into their respective cultural environments. In the art, the culture of Indo-Tibetan is most evident. The theme of femininity is clearly showed by the art of the goddess of dance as she looks very appealing. The main reason for creating the religious images was so that during worship the visualization of deity could be achieved. Both the Hindu and Buddhist traditions dictate the descriptions to be used in the art of the goddess. All the work presented in the exhibition were once part of the Zimmerman Family Collection. Zimmerman and Jack began the collection back in 1964, and they were respected as the foremost collectors in the field. All the art at the exhibition looks unique and appealing.

Similarities

In both arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they involve collections of the past. In the first Art, Poetry and devotion in Indian painting: Two decades of collecting, Steve Kossak gathered the collections that are showed at the exhibition for two decades from 1986 to 2006 when he was serving as the curator Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Steve Kossak shows femininity in the art, he had gotten some of the paintings from his family in the past years and also bought others for his own personal interests. As the title of the exhibition says Poetry and Devotion, it is clear that the contributors at the Indian painting are devoted. According to the myths of the past, personal devotion was a way of expressing individuality to seek the divine. Serving as a curator at the Department of the Indian painting, Steve Kossak still had the paintings that portrayed femininity. The beautiful colors used in the painting makes the art look unique and beautiful. The presence of gold and silver in the art and the opaque watercolor and ink makes the sculpture appear beautiful, and this is a way of showing the theme of femininity. The second art of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts is also similar to that of the Poetry and Devotion in that it also has collections of the past centuries. The past collections involved 12th century Tibetan bronze Padmapani, 13th century bronze Vajravarahi and 16th century Tibetan Hevajra mandala tangka. Collection was started by Zimmerman and Jack back in 1964 and were the foremost collectors in the field. Although the collections of the art being exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is of the past centuries the sculptures look beautiful and reveal the theme of femininity very nicely.

Differences

The difference seen between the two arts is that the Art of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts is based on both cultural and religious foundations while the Poetry and Devotion Indian Painting: Two Decades of Collecting is only based on religious foundations. Serving as a curator at the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steve Kossak was devoted to assembling the collections for the two decades. This was as a result of the powerful imagery of the past myths in their religion that the Indian painting was a way to an expression of seeking divine through personal devotion. It is clear that the Art is all based on religious foundations of believing that they should be devoted. In contrary to the Art of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts, the foundations of the art is both cultural and religious. The theme of femininity portrayed in the art of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts rest on complex cultural and religious foundations. All the collections of the deities originated from India revealing that their culture is appreciated. The deities were then adopted and integrated into the specific cultural environments. In religious matters, Buddhism religion is predominant in Tibet, and both Hinduism and Buddhism which are parallel to each other have been practiced in Nepal for a long period of time. The Indo culture is portrayed in the art. Irrespective of the differences in religion the artists knew their roles in the work creation and created a goddess showing the theme of femininity. The reason for involving religion in the images is to show a clear visualization of the deity during worship.

Conclusion

The theme of femininity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is clearly shown by Poetry and devotion in Indian Painting: Two decades of Collection. In this art, three sections are involved; the early Rajput and Rajasthan, early Pahari and the later Pahari. In each room, the paintings show mostly the traditions of the Indian Hinduism. Rajput court painting intentions were for absolute delight and also to improve the artistic fantasy in painting the pictures while still showing the popular religion and secular texts and subjects that matter. The theme of femininity is revealed clearly because of the colors that have been used in the painting. The opaque watercolor and ink utilized in the Indian painting and also the gold and color mixed in the painting make it look elegant. The shiny appearance of both silver and gold colors portrays the theme of femininity. The presence of white simulated pearls while the beetle wing casings stand in for emerald. This makes the Indian paintings look very unique. The collection, which was done for two decades by Steve Kossak indicates personal devotion and the power and magic that is present in the images reveals the theme of femininity at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Work Cited

"The Arts of Nepal and Tibet: Recent Gifts". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met

Museum. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012.

Print.

"Poetry and Devotion in Indian Painting: Two Decades of Collecting". The Metropolitan Museum

of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. N.p., 2016. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.

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