Saturday, August 13, 2016

‘Divine Pleasures’ Celebrates the Colors of Desire in Indian Paintings

By Jason Farago
“Krishna Steals the Clothing of the Gopis (Cow Maidens),” around 1640, attributed to an artist known as the Early Master at the Court of Mandi. Credit Kronos Collections, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
NEW YORK---It is the colors that awe most in Hindu painting of the 16th to 19th centuries: the saturated reds, the lambent golds, or the milky blues of Krishna’s skin and the sky at twilight. They are as vivid as ever in “Divine Pleasures,” a handsome and uncommon show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which features nearly 100 watercolor and ink paintings from northern India. Illustrations of the Ramayana and other holy texts, portraits of rajahs with horses and elephants, and love scenes both spiritual and erotic plot the development of Indian aristocratic taste over three tumultuous centuries. But the color gleams throughout, alive with otherworldly devotion. [link]