Realms of Earth and Sky
Indian Painting from the Fifteenth to the Nineteenth Century
August 29 - December 21, 2014
Curated by Daniel J. Ehnbom, Adjunct Curator of South Asian Art, The Fralin Museum of Art, and Associate Professor of South Asian Art, McIntire Department of Art, with Krista Gulbransen, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History, Skidmore College, and former Luzak-Lindner Graduate Fellow at The Fralin Museum
The Fralin Museum of Art began collecting South Asian art seriously in 1992, acquiring a collection that today ranks among the best held by a university museum in the southeast. From Aug. 29 through Dec. 21, 2014, The Fralin will present Realms of Earth and Sky, an exhibition comprising a selection of these works, supplemented by others drawn from private collections.
The paintings represent a number of different artistic traditions and range across a span of five centuries. Themes include the stylistic relationship between Mughal and Rajput paintings and the function of book illustration. In meticulously rendered tableaux, viewers will encounter scenes ranging from the opulence of the Mughal court to the actions of gods in the forms of men, and from lively battles to depictions of intimate courtly love. The styles can be intricately refined or sweepingly bold, all contained in the small scale of the manuscript or album page.
Portraiture, religious and literary texts, and Ragamala paintings are particularly well represented in the The Fralin collection of Indian painting. Highlights will include a rare sixteenth-century imperial Mughal painting by Khem Karan, a Rasikapriya illustration done by the famous seventeenth-century Mewari artist Sahibdin, and a portrait of the Guler ruler Raja Bishan Singh, attributed to Nainsukh.
A catalogue accompanying the exhibition will document the entire Fralin Indian painting collection and feature essays and catalogue entries by curator Daniel Ehnbom and Krista Gulbransen. As many of the exceptional works in The Fralin’s collection remain unpublished, the catalogue represents an important contribution to current scholarship on Indian painting.
The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation, an anonymous donor, albemarle magazine, and Ivy Publications LLC’s Charlottesville Welcome Book.