This wonderful exhibition is dedicated to the
32 jewel-like Indian Miniature Paintings of the Robert and Lisa
The paintings, with their vibrant colours and meticulous detail
range in date from 1525 to 1850.
Some of these works were painted for the Hindu
rulers of Rajasthan or the Mughal Court in Delhi, which introduced
Persian painting styles to Indo-Islamic art.
There are also examples of Pahari paintings of
the Punjab Hills and the lively compositions of the Southern Indian
Miniature, but not small
Portrait of Sultan Jamshid Qutb Shah of Golconda,
(r. 1543-50), India, Deccan, Golconda, c. 1680, Photo: James
It should be noted that the term "miniature"
does not refer to their scale but instead originally referred to
the symbolic use of red lead, or minium in early Indian
These beautiful and delicate paintings range from
the majesty of the court, showing the maharajas and their palaces,
flowing robes, opulent jewellery through to images from everyday
Scenes depict gentle sensuous love stories; Rajas;
the god Krishna.
There are intricate backgrounds with lush foliage and formal front
lines of flowers.
We can see singers with musicians playing their sitars, tamburs
One painting shows elephants fighting, with attendants trying to
distract the animals by letting off firecrackers, and then running
Ladies bathing in a garden, India, Punjab Hills,
Guler, c. 1750-75. Photo: James Austin
Another delightful painting with muted colours
shows young girls chatting beside a pool and playing among the lotus
First public display
While a small selection of these miniatures can be found in the
Reserve display, the group has never before been shown together.
These captivating works have been recently conserved and reframed.
The Sainsbury Centre is delighted to be showing these paintings
in their full glory to mark it's Jubilee year.