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Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century

Luhring Augustine, in association with Francesca Galloway, is pleased to present Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century, a show of historical artworks from India opening on January 26 at Luhring Augustine Tribeca. The showcase marks the first time Luhring Augustine has partnered with the London-based gallery Francesca Galloway, internationally renowned in the field of Indian art. Court, Epic, Spirit will present a variety of artworks including textiles, paintings, and courtly objects. Grounding the works in their historical context, the selection will offer insights into artistic and cultural movements in India during this time. 

The title of the exhibition refers to three key lenses through which to view the multi-faceted and extraordinarily inventive arts of India: court, epic, spirit. With these organizing principles as a guide, the exceptional and iconic works of art in the installation can be more fully considered and understood.

A fine and grand 17th century panel from a lavish royal tent will be among the exhibition’s featured objects. The panel is part of an important group thought to have been produced in the Deccan, a region of central India. For both Rajput and Mughal rulers, tents were immensely important, especially to the latter given the nomadic lifestyle required to govern their vast empire.

Indian painting is above all a storytelling medium, created to illustrate epic texts. These narratives, and the paintings that accompanied them were an integral aspect of the region’s cultural traditions throughout this period. A work of particular importance in the exhibition is a recently discovered 16th century painting from the early Imperial Mughal manuscript of the great epic, the Hamzanama (‘Story of Hamza’), one of the supreme achievements of Indian art. Commissioned by a young Emperor Akbar, it is the only known folio depicting this episode and represents a significant addition to the scholarship, not least because it was painted by Dasvant, a master artist in the Imperial atelier.

Also significant to the artistic output of the region were artworks focusing on the idea of worship – some depicting and enabling acts of revery, and some imbued with spiritual power. Hindu ragamala paintings depict verses that in turn evoke a mode of music. Through a very unusual group of 17th century ragamala paintings, most likely from the northern Deccan, the connection between sound, image, and spirit can be explored. Their wild sense of color and proportion, coupled with stark architecture and sumptuous textiles, lend these paintings an assured and individual aesthetic. Another highlight of the show will be a masterpiece of painting on cloth illustrating Dana Lila, or Krishna playfully demanding a toll from the gopis. This type of Deccani pichhvai, a painted cotton temple cloth, is rare, with only a handful of examples in museum collections around the world.

An additional highlight of the exhibition is the facade of a magnificent late 18th – early 19th century Mughal-style pleasure pavilion, a large-scale architectural marvel. The pavilion is installed at our Bushwick location is available to view by appointment. Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century will be on view at our Tribeca location through March 24, 2022 and will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

Artworks Nested Slideshow

Artworks Nested Slideshow Thumbnails
Blossoming Lotus Flower, Rajasthan, late 19th century

Blossoming Lotus Flower, Rajasthan, late 19th century
Opaque pigments on cotton
43 1/2 x 69 1/4 inches
(110.5 x 176 cm)

A carved sandstone panel with cusped niche, c. 1680-1730

A carved sandstone panel with cusped niche, c. 1680-1730
Sandstone
28 3/8 x 38 1/4 x 4 3/4 inches
(72 x 97 x 12 cm)

Bhairavi Ragini; from a Ragamala series, Rajasthan, Mewar, c. 1675

Bhairavi Ragini; from a Ragamala series, Rajasthan, Mewar, c. 1675
Opaque pigments with gold
Painting: 8.9 x 7.3 inches (22.7 x 18.5 cm)
Folio: 10.0 x 8.4 inches (25.5 x 21.4 cm)

A man of commanding presence, c. 1700-30

A man of commanding presence, c. 1700-30
Attributed to the Master at the Court of Mankot
Opaque pigments on paper; red border with black inner rule and white inner and outer rules
Folio: 8 x 11 1/8 inches (20.3 x 28.4 cm)
Painting: 7 1/8 x 10 1/8 inches (17.8 x 25.8 cm)

Krishna’s wives honour the sage Narada and Krishna carries his vina for him on his arrival in Dwarka, c. 1720

Krishna’s wives honour the sage Narada and Krishna carries his vina for him on his arrival in Dwarka, c. 1720
Folio from a dispersed ‘Vertical’ Bhagavata Purana series
By a Mankot artist
Opaque pigments and gold on paper; with yellow border with black and white inner rules
11 1/8 x 8 1/4 inches
(28.4 x 21.0 cm)

The sakhi describes Krishna’s lovelorn state to a hesitant Radha, 1765-70

The sakhi describes Krishna’s lovelorn state to a hesitant Radha, 1765-70
Folio from the ‘Second Guler’ or ‘Tehri-Garhwal’ Gitagovinda
Master of the first generation after Manaku and Nainsukh of Guler
Tempera, opaque pigments on paper, with gold pigment
Folio: 6 7/8 x 10 7/8 inches (17.6 x 27.5 cm)
Painting: 6 1/8 x 10 1/8 inches (15.3 x 25.7 cm)

Krishna slays Kuvalayapida, 1765-70

Krishna slays Kuvalayapida, 1765-70
Folio from the ‘Second Guler’ or ‘Tehri-Garhwal’ Gitagovinda
Master of the first generation after Manaku and Nainsukh of Guler
Tempera, opaque pigments on paper with gold pigment
Folio: 7 1/8 x 10 7/8 inches (18.1 x 27.7 cm)
Painting: 6 1/8 x 10 1/8 inches (15.3 x 25.7 cm)

A musician holding a vina, 1600-05

A musician holding a vina, 1600-05
Deccan, Bijapur, attributed to Farrukh Husain, with additions by an artist in his circle
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 10 7/8 x 6 7/8 inches (27.7 x 17.6 cm)
Painting: 4 1/2 x 1 3/4 inches (11.5 x 4.5 cm)

A painted cotton two-niche Qanat panel

A painted cotton two-niche Qanat panel
Golconda region of the Coromandel Coast, c.1640-1650
Mordant-painted and -dyed and resist-dyed plain-weave cotton
Textile: 92 x 75 inches (234 x 191 cm)
Stretcher 96.5 x 80 1/2 inches (245 x 204.5 cm)

Lakshmana places the garland round Sugriva’s neck, c. 1700-10

Lakshmana places the garland round Sugriva’s neck, c. 1700-10
From Book IV of the ‘Shangri’ Ramayan, Style III
Bahu (Jammu) or Kulu
Opaque pigments with gold on paper
Folio: 8 3/8 x 13 3/4 inches (21.4 x 35 cm)
Painting: 7 1/8 x 12 1/2 inches (18.2 x 31.6 cm)

Lakshmana gathers elephant-flowers to make a garland, c. 1700-10

Lakshmana gathers elephant-flowers to make a garland, c. 1700-10
From Book IV of the ‘Shangri’ Ramayana, Style III
Bahu (Jammu) or Kulu
Opaque pigments with gold on paper
Folio: 8 1/2 x 13 3/4 inches (21.5 x 35.0 cm)
Painting: 7 1/8 x 12 3/8 inches (18.0 x 31.3 cm)

Portrait of Anand Singh, first Raja of Idar, c. 1730

Portrait of Anand Singh, first Raja of Idar, c. 1730
Jodhpur artist at Idar
Opaque pigments with gold on paper
Folio: 10 5/8 x 7 1/4 inches (27.0 x 18.3 cm)
Painting: 9 1/8 x 5 3/4 inches (23 x 14.6 cm)

A prince, an ascetic and drug-addled sadhus, c. 1790

A prince, an ascetic and drug-addled sadhus, c. 1790
Sawar, attributed to Pemji
Opaque pigments on paper
10 5/8 x 14 1/8 inches
(27 x 36 cm)

The death of the demons Mahodara, Devantaka and Trisiras, c. 1790

The death of the demons Mahodara, Devantaka and Trisiras, c. 1790
From Book VI of the ‘Second Guler’ Ramayana (second part)
By a Guler artist
Opaque pigments with gold and silver on paper, within a blue margin with gold and silver floral arabesque and a pink outer border with a red rule
Folio: 9 3/4 x 13 7/8 inches (24.9 x 35.3 cm)
Painting: 7 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches (20.0 x 30.2 cm)

Raja Mahendra Pal of Basohli in procession with ladies, Attributed to Ranjha Basohli, c. 1810

Raja Mahendra Pal of Basohli in procession with ladies, Attributed to Ranjha Basohli, c. 1810
Tempera, opaque pigments on paper with gold pigment
Folio: 10 1/8 x 13 7/8 inches (25.5 x 35.3 cm)
Painting: 9 1/4 x 13 1/8 inches (23.6 x 33.3 cm)

Pichhvai of Dana Lila (the demanding of toll)

Pichhvai of Dana Lila (the demanding of toll)
Deccan, possibly Hyderabad, mid-19th century
Cotton; with stenciled and painted design, gold and silver applied with an adhesive and painted pigments, including copper acetate arsenite ('emerald green')
Textile: 1001 x 94 1/4 inches (256.5 x 239.5 cm)
Stretcher: 101 1/8 x 96 1/8 inches (257 x 244 cm)

Amir Hamza clings to the Rukh's legs to carry him home across the sea Folio from the Dastan-i Amir Hamza (Hamzanama or 'Story of Hamza') commissioned by the Emporer Akbar

Amir Hamza clings to the Rukh's legs to carry him home across the sea Folio from the Dastan-i Amir Hamza (Hamzanama or 'Story of Hamza') commissioned by the Emporer Akbar
Imperial Mughal, attributed to Dasvant, c.1565
Opaque pigments and gold on cotton with paper support for the text
Folio: 27 7/8 x 20 7/8 inches (70.7 x 53 cm)
Painting: 25 x 20 7/8 inches (63.5 x 53 cm)

Cast brass ewer with original lac, late 17th or early 18th century

Cast brass ewer with original lac, late 17th or early 18th century
Cast brass with remnant of original red and green lac
12 5/8 inches (32 cm)

Bust portrait of a prince, probably Muhammad Sultan, the son of Aurangzeb, Imperial Mughal, probably by Hunhar, c. 1670

Bust portrait of a prince, probably Muhammad Sultan, the son of Aurangzeb, Imperial Mughal, probably by Hunhar, c. 1670
Laid down in an album page with calligraphy on the reverse
Opaque pigments with gold on paper
Folio: 12 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches (31.6 x 23.5 cm)
Painting: 8 5/8 x 5 5/8 inches (22 x 14.4 cm)

Floorspread with medallion pattern, woven for the Mughal court

Floorspread with medallion pattern, woven for the Mughal court
Mughal, Gujarat, second half of the 17th century
Silk velvet, solid pile and pile-warp substitution
119 1/4 x 71 1/4 inches
(303 x 181 cm)

Babur receives an envoy from Uzun Hasan when lying sick in 1497, folio from the first Baburnama, Imperial Mughal, 1589-90

Babur receives an envoy from Uzun Hasan when lying sick in 1497, folio from the first Baburnama, Imperial Mughal, 1589-90
Opaque pigments, ink and gold on paper
Folio: 12 x 7 1/2 inches (30.3 x 19.5 cm)
Miniature: 8 x 5 inches (20.7 x 12.5 cm)

Battle between the Iranians and the Turanians, c. 1450

Battle between the Iranians and the Turanians, c. 1450
Folio from the ‘Jainesque’ Shahnama
Sultanate India
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 12 1/2 x 10 1/8 inches (31.8 x 25.6 cm)
Painting: 5 3/8 x 8 1/8 inches (13.7 x 20.5 cm)

Battle between Khwaja Qazi and Aba-bikr at Uzgend in 1493–4, c. 1589

Battle between Khwaja Qazi and Aba-bikr at Uzgend in 1493–4, c. 1589
Folio from the first Baburnama, made for the Emperor Akbar
Imperial Mughal
Opaque pigments on paper with gold pigment
Folio: 10 3/8 x 6 1/8 inches (26.5 x 15.5 cm)
Painting: 9 3/4 x 5 1/4 inches (24.9 x 13.5 cm)

Return of the unfaithful lover, khandita nayika, c. 1720

Return of the unfaithful lover, khandita nayika, c. 1720
Nurpur
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
7 3/4 x 10 1/4 inches
(19.6 x 26.1 cm)

Krishna and his friends playing hide-and-seek by night

Krishna and his friends playing hide-and-seek by night
Guler, c. 1765
Opaque pigments and gold on paper, within a black margin and pink border
Folio: 10 3/10 x 8 2/5 inches (26.3 x 22 cm)
Miniature: 8 3/10 x 7 (21.2 x 17.7 cm)

The lovesick lady, Mandi, attributed to Sanju and workshop, 1810–20

The lovesick lady, Mandi, attributed to Sanju and workshop, 1810–20
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 11 5/8 x 8 3/8 inches (29.4 x 21.3 cm)
Painting: 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches (21.6 × 13.9 cm)

The Coronation of Rama, based on the description in the Yuddhakanda of the Ramayana, ch. 130, c. 1840

The Coronation of Rama, based on the description in the Yuddhakanda of the Ramayana, ch. 130, c. 1840
Mandi
Opaque pigments, with gold and silver on paper, within a gold oval border with white rules; spandrels decorated with large flowers against a blue ground; outer gilt border with a European style scrolling floral design with peonies; black and yellow rules
Folio: 20 1/8 x 16 3/8 inches (51.2 x 41.5 cm)
Painting: 17 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches (45 x 37 cm)

Bronze ewer and cover, Mughal period, 16th-17th century

Bronze ewer and cover, Mughal period, 16th-17th century
Cast bronze
15 3/8 inches (39 cm)

Hemala raga, eighth son of Dipak raga, 1630-50

Hemala raga, eighth son of Dipak raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 5/8 inches (33.1 x 27 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 7/8 inches (29.0 x 22.5 cm)

Chandrabimba raga, second son of Hindola raga

Chandrabimba raga, second son of Hindola raga
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan, 1630–50
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 3/4 inches (33.3 x 27.2 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 7/8 inches (29.0 x 22.5 cm)

Ramakari ragini, fifth wife of Shri raga, 1630-50

Ramakari ragini, fifth wife of Shri raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 5/8 inches (33.1 x 27.0 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 3/4 inches (29.0 x 22.2 cm)

Mewada? raga, second son of Malkos raga, 1630-50

Mewada? raga, second son of Malkos raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 5/8 inches (33.2 x 27.0 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 5/8 inches (28.8 x 22.0 cm)

Kamala raga, first son of Dipaka raga, 1630-50

Kamala raga, first son of Dipaka raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 1/2 inches (33.2 x 26.7 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 5/8 inches (29 x 22 cm)

Vinoda raga, eighth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50

Vinoda raga, eighth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 5/8 inches (33.2 x 26.9 cm)
Painting: 11 1/2 x 8 5/8 inches (29.3 x 22.0 cm)

Bhramara raga, fifth son of Malkos raga, 1630-50

Bhramara raga, fifth son of Malkos raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/4 x 10 3/4 inches (33.5 x 27.2 cm)
Painting 11 1/2 x 8 5/8 inches (29.3 x 22 cm)

Sorathi ragini, second wife of Megha raga, 1630-50

Sorathi ragini, second wife of Megha raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 x 10 1/2 inches (33.0 x 26.8 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 3/4 inches (29.0 x 22.2 cm)

Varddhana raga, sixth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50

Varddhana raga, sixth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 5/8 inches (33.3 x 27.0 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 7/8 inches (29.0 x 22.5 cm)

Bhairavi ragini, second wife of Bhairava raga, 1630–50

Bhairavi ragini, second wife of Bhairava raga, 1630–50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 5/8 inches (33.2 x 27.0 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 5/8 inches (29.0 x 22.0 cm)

Vibhasa raga, fifth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50

Vibhasa raga, fifth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 x 10 5/8 inches (33.2 x 27.0 cm)
Painting: 11 1/2 x 8 5/8 inches (29.3 x 22.0 cm)

Madhu raga, third son of Bhairava raga, 1630-50

Madhu raga, third son of Bhairava raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 x 10 5/8 inches (33 x 27 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 3/4 inches (28.9 x 22.1 cm)

Champaka raga, seventh son of Dipaka raga, 1630-50

Champaka raga, seventh son of Dipaka raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 1/2 inches (33.4 x 26.7 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 5/8 inches (29 x 22 cm)

Vangala raga, first son of Bhairava raga, 1630-50

Vangala raga, first son of Bhairava raga, 1630-50
From a dispersed Ragamala series, north Deccan
Opaque pigments and gold on paper
Folio: 13 1/8 x 10 5/8 inches (33.2 x 27.0 cm)
Painting: 11 3/8 x 8 3/4 inches (28.9 x 22.2 cm)

Blossoming Lotus Flower, Rajasthan, late 19th century
A carved sandstone panel with cusped niche, c. 1680-1730
Bhairavi Ragini; from a Ragamala series, Rajasthan, Mewar, c. 1675
A man of commanding presence, c. 1700-30
Krishna’s wives honour the sage Narada and Krishna carries his vina for him on his arrival in Dwarka, c. 1720
The sakhi describes Krishna’s lovelorn state to a hesitant Radha, 1765-70
Krishna slays Kuvalayapida, 1765-70
A musician holding a vina, 1600-05
A painted cotton two-niche Qanat panel
Lakshmana places the garland round Sugriva’s neck, c. 1700-10
Lakshmana gathers elephant-flowers to make a garland, c. 1700-10
Portrait of Anand Singh, first Raja of Idar, c. 1730
A prince, an ascetic and drug-addled sadhus, c. 1790
The death of the demons Mahodara, Devantaka and Trisiras, c. 1790
Raja Mahendra Pal of Basohli in procession with ladies, Attributed to Ranjha Basohli, c. 1810
Pichhvai of Dana Lila (the demanding of toll)
Amir Hamza clings to the Rukh's legs to carry him home across the sea Folio from the Dastan-i Amir Hamza (Hamzanama or 'Story of Hamza') commissioned by the Emporer Akbar
Cast brass ewer with original lac, late 17th or early 18th century
Bust portrait of a prince, probably Muhammad Sultan, the son of Aurangzeb, Imperial Mughal, probably by Hunhar, c. 1670
Floorspread with medallion pattern, woven for the Mughal court
Babur receives an envoy from Uzun Hasan when lying sick in 1497, folio from the first Baburnama, Imperial Mughal, 1589-90
Battle between the Iranians and the Turanians, c. 1450
Battle between Khwaja Qazi and Aba-bikr at Uzgend in 1493–4, c. 1589
Return of the unfaithful lover, khandita nayika, c. 1720
Krishna and his friends playing hide-and-seek by night
The lovesick lady, Mandi, attributed to Sanju and workshop, 1810–20
The Coronation of Rama, based on the description in the Yuddhakanda of the Ramayana, ch. 130, c. 1840
Bronze ewer and cover, Mughal period, 16th-17th century
Hemala raga, eighth son of Dipak raga, 1630-50
Chandrabimba raga, second son of Hindola raga
Ramakari ragini, fifth wife of Shri raga, 1630-50
Mewada? raga, second son of Malkos raga, 1630-50
Kamala raga, first son of Dipaka raga, 1630-50
Vinoda raga, eighth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50
Bhramara raga, fifth son of Malkos raga, 1630-50
Sorathi ragini, second wife of Megha raga, 1630-50
Varddhana raga, sixth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50
Bhairavi ragini, second wife of Bhairava raga, 1630–50
Vibhasa raga, fifth son of Hindola raga, 1630-50
Madhu raga, third son of Bhairava raga, 1630-50
Champaka raga, seventh son of Dipaka raga, 1630-50
Vangala raga, first son of Bhairava raga, 1630-50

Installation Views

Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century
Focus on epics, with narration by Ranjit Hoskote, from his essay "The Epic is Never Over"
Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th – 19th Century installation, Presented in conjunction with Francesca Galloway
Focus on courts: a preview of Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th–19th Century at Luhring Augustine Tribeca, January 26–March 24, 2022
Exhibition preview for Court, Epic, Spirit: Indian Art 15th–19th Century at Luhring Augustine Tribeca, January 26–March 24, 2022

Contact

For more information about the artist, please contact Leah Horowitz at leah@luhringaugustine.com.

For press requests, please contact Caroline Burghardt at caroline@luhringaugustine.com.

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