Event Title

Sorrow and Solace: Malwa Painting in the 17th Century

Presenter Information

Noah Margulis, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center K209

Start Date

10-2-2015 1:30 PM

End Date

10-2-2015 2:50 PM

Abstract

The bulk of medieval Hindu literature and poetry consists of episodic amorous narratives, evoking the attractions, separations, and reconciliations of archetypal lovers. The elusive style of lyrical poetry cycles, either romantic or devotional, present a number of representational problems. In what ways can pictorial techniques both illustrate and stimulate the viewer? Illustrated manuscripts and painted portfolios produced from the 16th to 19th centuries in northwest and central India offer an effective answer, by way of both sentimental naturalism and compartmentalized spatial abstraction. A leaf in the Allen Memorial Art Museum’s collection, depicting a lady and her maid in nostalgic conversation, is representative of this stylistic collaboration. This painting once formed part of an illustrated manuscript of Amaru Shataka, or “the hundred stanzas of Amaru.” The paintings were probably completed in 1652 in Nusratgarh, a city in the Malwa region. The poetry and painting cycle presents intricate portraits of lovers, each informed by Hindu aesthetic theory and its classifications of personality types and their associated moods and emotions. These ancient theories were followed in most artistic practices as many considered them guaranteed methods for generating positive moods and feelings of spirituality, strength, and solace in their viewers. The intended healing sensations, as prescribed by Hindu aesthetic theory, can be observed in both the source poem and the image’s composition.

Notes

Session I, Panel 2 - NARRATIVES: Stories & Histories

Major

Art History

Project Mentor(s)

Christina Neilson, Art History; Allen Memorial Art Museum

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Oct 2nd, 1:30 PM Oct 2nd, 2:50 PM

Sorrow and Solace: Malwa Painting in the 17th Century

Science Center K209

The bulk of medieval Hindu literature and poetry consists of episodic amorous narratives, evoking the attractions, separations, and reconciliations of archetypal lovers. The elusive style of lyrical poetry cycles, either romantic or devotional, present a number of representational problems. In what ways can pictorial techniques both illustrate and stimulate the viewer? Illustrated manuscripts and painted portfolios produced from the 16th to 19th centuries in northwest and central India offer an effective answer, by way of both sentimental naturalism and compartmentalized spatial abstraction. A leaf in the Allen Memorial Art Museum’s collection, depicting a lady and her maid in nostalgic conversation, is representative of this stylistic collaboration. This painting once formed part of an illustrated manuscript of Amaru Shataka, or “the hundred stanzas of Amaru.” The paintings were probably completed in 1652 in Nusratgarh, a city in the Malwa region. The poetry and painting cycle presents intricate portraits of lovers, each informed by Hindu aesthetic theory and its classifications of personality types and their associated moods and emotions. These ancient theories were followed in most artistic practices as many considered them guaranteed methods for generating positive moods and feelings of spirituality, strength, and solace in their viewers. The intended healing sensations, as prescribed by Hindu aesthetic theory, can be observed in both the source poem and the image’s composition.