NEW DEHLI, INDIA August 17,2013 (by Avantika Bhuyan): A one-of-its kind exhibition brings 101 miniatures from various schools of painting to piece together the life and times of Lord Rama. From the classical folk style of Kalighat to the provincial Mughal style from Bundelkhand, 101 artworks from 21 schools of miniature painting are currently on display at Delhi's National Museum. The paintings have been arranged in such a manner as to form a chronological narrative of Rama's life. So the exhibition starts with a 19th century miniature done in Kangra style depicting Sage Narada urging Valmiki to pen down the story of Rama to instances from the Uttarakanda showing Lava and Kusha tying up the sacrificial horse in the hermitage.
"The National Museum has a collection of 17,000 miniature paintings, thus making it one of the largest in the world. 500 of these depict events from the Ramayana; so we have chosen 101 which depict all the schools of miniature paintings," says Vijay Kumar Mathur, curator (learning and education) who has put together the exhibition. The exhibition came about as a result of a loan request for miniatures based on the Ramayana by the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels. "We decided to oblige them by doing an exhibition instead. There are nearly 70 paintings in this collection that have never been displayed before."
The exhibition is on at National Museum till October 13, after which it travels to the Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels