Gallery exhibition
Art of the Indian Court, Architectural Elements, Jalis and Paintings
Installation photography, Art of the Indian Court, 6 January – 11 February 2006
Installation photography, Art of the Indian Court, 6 January – 11 February 2006
Thakur Gyan Singh Watches a Prince Receiving Water from Women at a Village
        Well<br>
        India, Rajasthan, Jaipur school<br>
        circa 1780<br>
        opaque watercolor and gold on paper; red borders<br>
        Private collection<br>
         <br>
        Thakur Gyan Singh, a scion of the Devgarh royal house, was an important
        patron of painting. He is pictured here, with Gyan Singh and Kunvar
        Sadat Singh, watching a prince receiving water at a well, a perennial
        and always flirtatiously romantic subject of eighteenth century Indian
        painting.
The Emaciated Hero Brings a Garland of Flowers to his Beloved (Rajasthan
      Painting), 18th century<br>
      opaque watercolor on paper<br>
      6 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. (17.1 x 21 cm)
Unknown (India, Punjab Hills, Jammu or Mankot)<br>
      Equestrian Portrait of Bakhtawar Singh, circa 1800<br>
      opaque watercolor on paper; narrow red borders<br>
      Paper : 10 3/4 x 7 in. (27.3 x 17.8 cm)<br>
      Private collection <br>
       <br>
      Bakhtawar Singh was the <em>thakur </em> (feudatory
      lord) of Jhilai, a <em>thikana </em> (baroney)
      of Jaipur in Rajasthan. The Jhilai <em>thakur </em> was the premier lord
      of the region, as he was next in line of succession to the Jaipur throne
      if the ruling prince was childless.  In the late 18th and early 19th century
      a significant if little known style of painting flourished at Jhilai. The
      highly original, yet unknown, artist of the present picture was its leading
      practitioner.
Unknown (India, Rajasthan, Jodpur School)<br>
        Maharaja Abhai Singh, circa 1730<br>
        opaque watercolor and gold on paper; <br>
        brown paper borders<br>
        Paper: 10 3/4 x 6 7/8 in. (27.3 x 17.5 cm)<br>
        Private collection<br>
         <br>
        Maharaja Abhai Singh (1702-49) ascended
          the Jodhpur throne in 1724.  His
          reign of twenty-five years witnessed many personal and political problems,
          but also an outburst of creativity from his court painters.  In
          this fine portrait, the Maharaja is standing beneath a purple-streaked
          sky, holding a long sword in one hand.   His sinuous pearl necklace
          is composed of tiny flecks of white impasto pigment.
Unknown (India, Rajasthan, Bikaner School),<br>
      The Wedding of Krishna<br>
      Illustration from a dispersed series of a the Bhagavata Purana (Book
      Ten), circa 1590-1600<br>
      opaque watercolor on paper heightened with gold; wide brown paper borders<br>
      Paper: 9 1/2 x 11 7/8 in. (24.1 x 30.2 cm)<br>
       <br>
      This painting depicts the wedding of Krishna,
      the blue-skinned god who is positioned at the center of the composition.
      The seated newlyweds look on as a Brahmin priest propitiates the gods
      by pouring clarified butter into the sacrificial flame. The
      composition is filled out by another Brahmin priest seated among ritual
      vessels and three female attendants carrying platters of flowers and
      food. The
      third attendant at left is exiting a small chamber, its interior the
      rectangular block of red that appears in many illustrations from this
      justly renowned series.
Unknown (India, Rajasthan, Jaipur School)<br>
      Nobleman Seated on the Verandah of His City Mansion, circa 1860 - 70<br>
      opaque watercolor and gold on paper; colored borders<br>
      Paper: 12 5/8 x 9 1/4 in. (32.1 x 23.5 cm)<br>
       <br>
      The neoclassical columns, fan window, and Regency chair of the gentleman's
      house, deeply indebted to English fashion, suggest that by the standards
      of the day he possessed progressive views and cutting-edge taste. Portraits
      of this type represent the final phase of traditional Indian painting:
      their style reflects the influence of that new-fangled invention, photography.
Unknown (India, Punjab Hills, Bilaspur School)<br>
      Nine Soldiers Marching<br>
      Illustration from a dispersed series of the Madhavanala-Kamakandala,
      circa 1700<br>
      opaque watercolor on paper; red borders<br>
      Paper: 8 1/8 x 12 3/8 in. (20.6 x 31.4 cm)<br>
       <br>
      The Madhavanala-Kamakandala is a poetic romance featuring Madhava,
      a handsome Brahmin youth who arouses the love of Kamakandala, a beautiful
      courtesan. The majority of miniatures from the series illustrating
      this text make use of the standard narrative devices of Indian painting,
      isolating figures within box-like components derived from the landscape
      or architectural background details.   But this painting is unique:
      the background is a unified, empty field of color; and the soldiers
      march in-step across it as if they were figures in a frieze.
Unknown (India, Rajasthan, Amber (Jaipur) School)<br>
        Radha Offers Flowers to Krishna<br>
        Illustration from a dispersed series of the Baramasa (Months of the Year),
        circa 1710<br>
        opaque watercolor and gold on paper; colored borders<br>
        Paper: 14 5/8 x 10 5/8 in. (37.1 x 27 cm)<br>
        Private collection<br>
         <br>
        The subject of this elegant painting from a series illustrating the
        twelve months of the year, each painting depicting a characteristic
        festival or appropriate activity of the given month, is Magha, the
        Indian equivalent of late January/early February in our calendar. The
        spring festival, or Vasanta-Panchami, is celebrated during this month,
        as symbolized by the courtly action depicted here: Radha is offering
        a tray of pretty spring flowers to Krishna, her beloved, while musicians
        and serving maids attend.
Unknown (India, Punjab Hills, Jammu or Mankot)<br>
        A Young Disciple Brings a Tethered Antelope to His Guru, circa 1750<br>
        opaque watercolor on paper; red borders<br>
        Paper: 8 5/8 x 12 1/2 in. (21.9 x 31.8 cm)<br>
         <br>
        The drawing entitled
Unknown (India, Punjab Hills, Jammu or Mankot)<br>
      A Seated Guru, circa 1750<br>
      drawing in brush and black ink on paper<br>
      Paper: 8 1/4 x 6 7/8 in. (21 x 17.5 cm)<br>
       <br>
      This sensitive drawing is the finished
      preparatory study (but in mirror reverse) for <em>A
        Young Disciple Brings a Tethered Antelope to His Guru</em>, with which it is paired. Finished
      drawings of this type were the basis for all sophisticated Indian paintings,
      which were typically worked out through a preliminary yet increasingly
      detailed progression of drawings.
nknown, attributable to the artist Sahiba Ram (India, Rajasthan, Jaipur
      School)<br>
      Attendant Waving a Chauri (Ceremonial Fly Whisk), circa 1790<br>
      drawing in brush and black ink, <br>
      stumped with charcoal<br>
      Paper: 21 5/8 x 13 1/4 in.<br>
      (54.9 x 33.7 cm)<br>
      Private collection
Unknown (India, Rajasthan, Mewar School)<br>
      Overview of the City of Chitor, 18th century<br>
      opaque watercolor on paper heightened with silver; red borders<br>
      Paper: 18 1/4 x 14 7/8 in. (46.4 x 37.8 cm)<br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      Chitor was the ancient capital of Mewar
      state in southeastern Rajasthan.  One
      of the most fiercely contested seats of power in India, the city crowns
      a seven mile long hill, covering 700 acres with its fortifications, temples,
      towers, and palaces.  From the eighth to the the sixteenth century,
      this seemingly impregnable city represented a bastion of Rajput resistance
      in North India.  But the city was successfully besieged by the
      Mughal emperor Akbar in 1567. And today, Chitor is largely in
      ruins.  The tiny figures suggest the vast scale of the city and
      its surrounding terrain.
Unknown (India, Mughal)<br>
      Pierced Window Screen (Jali),<br>
      late 16th - early 17th century<br>
      red sandstone<br>
      46 1/2 x 32 3/4 x 3 in. (118.1 x 83.2 x 7.6 cm) <br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      This pierced window screen, or <em>jali</em>,
      is closely related in design to red sandstone <em>jalis </em> still
      in situ at Akbar's Tomb in Sikandra, near Agra (ca. 1605-1612).
Unknown (India, Mughal)<br>
      Pierced Window Screen (Jali), late 16th - early 17th Century<br>
      red sandstone<br>
      46 1/2 x 36 x 3 in. (118.1 x 91.4 x 7.6 cm) <br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      This pierced window
      screen, or <em>jali</em>,
      is closely related in design to red sandstone <em>jalis </em> still
      in situ at Akbar's Tomb in Sikandra, near Agra (ca. 1605-1612).
Unknown (India, Mughal)<br>
      Pierced Window Screen (Jali),<br>
      late 16th - early 17th century<br>
      red sandstone<br>
      39 3/4 x 24 x 5 in. (101 x 61 x 12.7 cm)<br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      The surface pattern of this <em>jali </em> is extremely close in design
      to the pierced window screens that enclose the courtyard of the Great
      Mosque (ca. 1571) at Fatehpur Sikri, the erstwhile Mughal capital.
Unknown (India, Mughal)<br>
        Stone Panel with Recessed Niche and Carved Vase Decorated with Floral
        Motifs, early 17th century<br>
        red sandstone<br>
        38 3/4 x 18 x 4 in.<br>
        (98.4 x 45.7 x 10.2 cm) <br>
        Private collection<br>
         <br>
        This carved wall niche decorated with a flower
        vase is called <em>chini khana</em>,
        or China Room. Architectural elements of this type were extremely popular
        during the opening decades of the seventeenth century.
Unknown (India, Mughal)<br>
      Stone Panel with Recessed Niche Containing Two Covered Bowls and a
      Larger Vase with Flowers, early 17th century<br>
      red sandstone<br>
      25 x 18 3/8 x 3 1/2 in. (63.5 x 46.7 x 8.9 cm) <br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      These types of stone panels are called <em>chini
        khanas</em>, or China Rooms. This, together with the other stone
      panel in the show with a similar design, form a pair of wall niches
      from the same building. They are close in design to architectural
      elements still in situ on the Kanch Mahal (a palace of the Emperor
      Jahangir) dating from ca. 1605-1612, near Agra.
Unknown (India, Mughal)<br>
      Stone Panel with Recessed Niche Containing Two Covered Bowls and a
      Larger Vase with Flowers, early 17th century<br>
      red sandstone<br>
      25 1/4 x 18 x 2 3/4 in. (64.1 x 45.7 x 7 cm) <br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      These types of stone panels are called <em>chini
        khanas</em>,
      or China Rooms. This, together with the other stone panel in the show
      with a similar design, form a pair of wall niches from the same building.
      They are close in design to architectural elements still in situ
      on the Kanch Mahal (a palace of the Emperor Jahangir) dating from
      ca. 1605-1612, near Agra.
Unknown (India, Mughal)<br>
      Water Chute (Chadar) Decorated with Overlapping Banana Leaves, 18th century<br>
      white marble<br>
      48 x 33 x 5 in. (121.9 x 83.8 x 12.7 cm) <br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      Mughal architectural elements of this
      type, carved from white marble (a rare stone) with an overall
      pattern of botanical motifs, are quite rare. This carved
      panel is a <em>chadar</em>, or water chute; its surface channeled
      water from one level of a garden to another.
Unknown (India, Malabar Coast)<br>
      Breastplate, 19th century<br>
      bronze<br>
      15 1/4 x 12 1/4 x 4 1/2 in. (38.7 x 31.1 x 11.4 cm) <br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      This impressive breastplate was made for a devotee-performer
      impersonating the Mother Goddess (Kali) in a ritual dance, or <em>Teyyam</em>,
      at a temple or shrine. During the performance, the Mother Goddess' story
      was sung and her actions were mimed.  At the end of the story, she dies.
      But she is defied and the actor-performer, i.e., Mother Goddess, is later
      worshipped.
Unknown (India, Malabar Coast)<br>
      Demon (Bhuta) Mask, 19th century<br>
      bronze<br>
      10 1/2 x 10 x 3 1/4 in. (26.7 x 25.4 x 8.3 cm)<br>
       <br>
      The three masks on view in this exhibition, depict
      demons, or <em>Bhutas</em>, and were worn by Tulu devotees associated
      with the cult of the Mother Goddess. Danced reenactments of the principle
      myths and legends of the Mother Goddess were performed during the great
      festivals that marked religious life along the Malabar Coast in southern
      India. In these epiphanic religious festivals, it is believed the demon
      comes to inhabit the body of the dancer, and is later ritually slain
      by the mother goddess herself.
Unknown (India, Malabar Coast)<br>
      Demon (Bhuta) Mask, 19th century<br>
      bronze with silver admixture<br>
      7 5/8 x 8 3/8 x 3 1/2 in. (19.4 x 21.3 x 8.9 cm)<br>
       <br>
      The three masks on view in this exhibition, depict
      demons, or <em>Bhutas</em>, and were worn by Tulu devotees associated
      with the cult of the Mother Goddess. Danced reenactments of the principle
      myths and legends of the Mother Goddess were performed during the great
      festivals that marked religious life along the Malabar Coast in southern
      India. In these epiphanic religious festivals, it is believed the demon
      comes to inhabit the body of the dancer, and is later ritually slain
      by the mother goddess herself.
Unknown (India, Malabar Coast)<br>
      Demon (Bhuta) Mask with Feline Ears and Whiskers, 19th century<br>
      bronze<br>
      10 7/8 x 10 7/8 x 4 3/4 in. (27.6 x 27.6 x 12.1 cm)<br>
      Private collection<br>
       <br>
      The three masks on view in this exhibition, depict
      demons, or <em>Bhutas</em>, and
      were worn by Tulu devotees associated with the cult of the Mother Goddess.
      Danced reenactments of the principle myths and legends of the Mother
      Goddess were performed during the great festivals that marked religious
      life along the Malabar Coast in southern India.  In these epiphanic
      religious festivals, it is believed the demon comes to inhabit the
      body of the dancer, and is later ritually slain by the mother goddess
      herself.
6 Jan 2006 - 11 Feb 2006

from Terence McInerney
Exhibition marking L.A. Louver's 30th anniversary


press release

other Indian Miniatures exhibitions at LA Louver
L.A. Louver will celebrate its 30th anniversary with an exhibition of Indian architectural elements, jalis and miniature paintings from the collection of renowned Indian art dealer and scholar Terence McInerney.

The exhibition includes seven architectural elements, including jalis, carved from stone during the time of the Mughal Empire (1526 - 1857). Jalis were used extensively in Indian architecture as window screens, room dividers, and railings for thrones, platforms, terraces, and balconies.The exhibition will include three jalis and three architectural reliefs carved from red sandstone, which date from the late sixteenth through early seventeenth centuries. A seventh sculpture dating from the eighteenth century, carved from white marble and decorated with a geometric pattern of overlapping banana leaves, originally served as a water chute or chadar.

The exhibition also features approximately a dozen Indian paintings and drawings made between the late sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, including examples from the Jaipur, Bilaspur, Bikaner, Mewar and Jhilai schools of painting. For centuries, miniature paintings have been treasured possessions of the Indian upper classes.
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