by Rajan Zed
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (MET), said to be one of the world’s largest and finest art museums, is exhibiting various Hindu deities in its “Divine Pleasures” exhibition from June 14 to September 12.
MET claims that nearly 100 masterful to be exhibited paintings, created mainly between the 16th and the early 19th century for the royal courts of Rajasthan and the Punjab Hills in northern India, are “meant to move the soul and delight the eye” and the “power and magic of the images transcends the subjects they portray”.
Exhibits include Rama and Sita where a thorn is removed from Rama’s foot, Krishna and the gopis take shelter from rain, Shiva and Parvati playing chaupar, Krishna holding Mount Goverdhan, King Dasratha proceeding to Rama’s wedding, Rama pardoning two demon spies, Devi Bhadrakali adored by the gods, Rama-Sita-Lakshmana at the hermitage of Bharadvaja, gopis pleading to Krishna, Devi Bhairavi with Shiva, death of King Dasratha, Sage Durvasa helps the gopis quiet the Yamuna River, Krishna and Radha, etc., reports suggest.
Painted on paper in opaque watercolor and ink, they are often heightened with gold and silver, MET informs. Organized by MET’s Navina Haidar and Courtney Stewart, many of the paintings to be shown have reportedly never before been exhibited publicly.
Commending MET for showcasing Hindu deities through paintings, distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged other major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay of Paris, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.
Collections of MET, founded 1870 and whose mission includes “to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas”; include over two million works of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture, from prehistory to the present and from every part of the globe. It has the largest assemblage of musical instruments outside Europe and its Costume Institute’s collection is over 35,000. It also undertakes traveling exhibitions, conservation, excavations, etc. Thomas P. Campbell, Daniel H. Weiss and Daniel Brodsky are Director, President and Trustees Chairman of the Museum respectively.