Subjects

Treasures of Indian Art : Germany's Tribute to India's Cultural Heritage

Raffael Dedo Gadebusch, Regina Hickmann, Heino Kottkamp and Marianne Yaldiz. Edited by Saryu Doshi, National Museum, 1998, 87 p, ISBN : 8185832064, $36.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Treasures of Indian Art : Germany's Tribute to India's Cultural Heritage/Raffael Dedo Gadebusch

Contents: I. History of the collection. II. Sculpture: 1. Ancient. 2. Classical. 3. Medieval. III. Jade. IV. Miniature painting. Bibliography.

From the foreword: "The series of exhibitions which have celebrated the 50 year of Indian Independence closes with a lavish "tribute to India’s cultural heritage" from Germany. This exhibition on the "Treasures of Indian art" represents a careful selection of almost a hundred objects of art from the Museum of Indian Art in Berlin, well known to all lovers of Indian art in its setting amidst the quiet greenery of Dahlem, and often affectionately referred to as ‘the Dahlem museum’.

"It is interesting to know that the museum of Indian art was founded in 1963 as one of the seventeen State museums of the Prussian cultural foundation, and as a rare example of a museum in Europe which is devoted solely to Indian art. The exhibits selected for this exhibition represent the masterpieces of the collection. In fact, the majority of the exhibits, with a few exceptions, are apparently being shown outside Berlin for the first time, and we are particularly happy that India was chosen to be the first country to receive this exhibition.

"The exhibits range in date from early examples of Indian art of the 3 century BC to examples of Indian painting from the 19 century, and originate from regions which are spread virtually all over the entire subcontinent—Kashmir, Gandhara, Mathura, Sanchi, Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Central India, Deogarh, South India. Examples of early terracotta figurines, the complex tradition of stone imagery, bronzes, miniature paintings, finely executed work in jade—express the rich and textured flavour of Indian art over the centuries.

"The wide variety of forms reiterate the fact that the visual arts was one of the major outlets of the Indian artistic imagination. The Indian creative imagination sought manifold expressions, and often arose from a complex body of philosophical thought which found visual expression in the form of a symbolic iconography with many layers of meaning.

"At the same time, Indian philosophical thought from earliest times sought the unifying essence which underlies all creation, the common sap of life or rasa as it was called which flowed alike through human, animal, and vegetal forms."

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