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Tradition and Transformation: Contemporary Indian Miniature Painting from Rajasthan

27 May 2022 - 18 September 2022 

This exhibition highlights the work of a group of contemporary miniature painters working in Udaipur, Rajasthan. 

Miniature painting was introduced to India by the Mughal emperors in the 16th century CE. Master painters were brought from Persia to teach the art form to Indian artists, and the resulting fusion of Persian and Indian styles developed into the many different regional schools which flourished across the Mughal Empire. 

Traditional miniature paintings were created for local audiences and focused on portraying aspects of the lives and activities of powerful rulers. Some contemporary miniature painting recreates these traditional subjects using modern media, while other works feature novel designs. This thriving art form is, however, aimed at an almost wholly non-Indian audience, with the primary consumers being international tourists. 

All the works for the exhibition have been donated to the Oriental Museum by Dr Simon Fleming. 

This exhibition was part of Lindisfarne Gospels 2022 a programme of events inspired by the display of the Lindisfarne Gospels in the North East in autumn 2022. On loan from the British Library, the spectacular manuscript took centre stage in an exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne from 17 September – 3 December 2022.  

Painting depicting a procession of people in traditional Indian costume, some walking, others riding a camel, elephants and horses. In the background are a series of buildings made from red or white stone and beyond that is a lake with buildings on stilts and hills in the far distance.Image caption: Detail from “Royal Procession by Lake Udaipur” by Surveer Singh, DUROM.2020.76