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Intimate Worlds: Indian Paintings from the Alvin O. Bellak Collection

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Intimate Worlds: Indian Paintings from the Alvin O. Bellak Collection

By Darielle Mason, with contributions by B. N. Goswamy, Terence McInerney, John Seyller, and Ellen Smart. All color photography by Lynn Rosenthal

2001
216 pages
145 illustrations (95 in color)
11 x 11”

Paper ISBN 0-87633-146-0
Cloth ISBN 0-87633-147-9

One of the world’s finest private collections of Indian “miniature” paintings, a promised bequest to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is represented by some ninety works of art created in workshops across India over the course of four centuries. The paintings, all reproduced in full color and accompanied by a detailed scholarly examination, span the period from before the rise of Islamic Mughal rule in northern India during the 1500s to the heyday of the British Raj in the late nineteenth century. The “intimate worlds” evoked by these images vividly illustrate Hindu, Muslim, and Jain religious stories; offer visions of life at court; and explore the pleasures and pains of love. Essays include a statement from the collector and an introductory history of courtly painting on the Indian subcontinent, as well as discussions of the history of the collecting of Indian art, hierarchies of taste, and the relationship between artists and patrons.

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