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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 243

The MET : Gallery 243 : South Asian Hindu-Buddhist and Jain Sculpture

Art From Us Museum Guide #561

Art From Us presents a must-see Museum Guide daily, where we showcase specific artworks in specific museums – from across the globe. Today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #561 the spotlight is on the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET) NY’s Gallery 243. Showcasing a collection of South Asian Hindu-Buddhist and Jain Sculpture. 

The three works in focus are :

  1. Picchwai for the festival of cows, from the late 18th century.
  2. Bowl, from the 17th century.
  3. Architectural ensemble from a Jain meeting hall, from the last quarter of the 16th century.

The significance of the 3 works chosen for Art From Us Museum Guide #561

Welcome to the Art From Us, Museum Guide #561. Before beginning, we would like to point out that all three works chosen for Museum Guide #561 originate from India.

India is a land rich with culture, religion and ritual. Therefore, it is no surprise that some of the objects represented above, as well as the other objects in The Metropolitan Museum of Art : Gallery 243  are either partly or wholly informed by Hinduism, Jainism or some form of spiritual practice.

Let us start with the architectural marvel from that is depicted in our Art From Us, Museum Guide #561. This structure was once part of a Jain meeting hall, which was inside of the Vadi Parshvanatha Jain Temple in Patan, Gujrat. The structure was removed from the temple during renovations that took place in the early 20th century. In 1916, the structure was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of art by Robert W. De Forest and Lockwood De Forest.

The second item we find particularly worthy of note for Museum Guide #561 is the picchwai.

What is a picchwai?

Picchwai’s are religious depictions and narrations, that are made on cloth or paper. They are used to adorn temple walls and are typically found in India’s Deccan region. This particular picchwai was bought by the MET in 2003 from Simon Ray Ltd. It was created in the 18th century in celebration of Gopashtami, which is the Indian festival of cows. This annual celebration marks the rise of Lord Krishna (from Hindu religious mythology) from a cattle herder to a cow herder.

Moving on to the third object chosen for Museum Guide #561. This jade bowl originated from the Mughal dynasty, which had taken over most of northern India from the 16th – 18th century.

By having chosen these three objects today, for Art From Us, Museum Guide #561, we hope to give you just a glimpse into the vastness and diversity of the Indian subcontinent. 


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