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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, lent by Howard Hodgkin

Sultans of Deccan India, 1500–1700: Opulence and Fantasy

In the June 25 issue of the New York Review, William Dalrymple writes:

The extraordinary renaissance of the arts that took place in the Deccan region of India during the sixteenth century, not just in Bijapur but in the other sultanates—Bidar, Ahmadnagar, and Golconda—is only now beginning to receive the scholarly attention it deserves.

The highlight of this exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum is unquestionably the room full of Deccani miniature paintings with their luminous palette of rich, jewel-like colors, their sense of make-believe and illusion, their enigmatic shifts of scale, and their brilliantly innovative use of marbling or abri, “clouds in the wind.” The show also includes a spectacular collection of masterworks in other media: in bronze, silver, stone, glass, lacquer, and fabrics painted or dyed into phantasmagoric patterns. Seeing these objects collected together en masse for the first time, it is now possible to grasp just how richly eclectic and heartbreakingly beautiful much of Deccani art was.

For more information, visit metmuseum.org.

Category: Exhibition
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave.,
New York, NY