British Library to show Ramayana paintings
The British Library in London will for the first time hold a major exhibition of 120 rare
paintings, from the volumes of Mewar
manuscripts, exploring the epic being retold and represented over the centuries in different countries.
The free-entry exhibition, which will open from May 16 continue till September 14 at the library, is titled The Ramayana: Love and Valour in India's Great Epic.
The Mewar Ramayana manuscripts will be brought to life in the exhibition designed by Tara Arts Theatre Company and supported by KK Birla, British Library Patrons and the Friends of the British Library.
The exhibition will explore the story of the Ramayana and how it has been represented and retold over the centuries and in different countries and cultures.
It will also feature paintings, textiles and sculptures from other major collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum and the Ashmolean Museum, as well as shadow puppets and dance costumes from the Horniman Museum.
Many of these items have never, or seldom, been publicly displayed, sources said.
The exhibition will also include original British Library Sound Archive recordings of readings and chantings of the Sanskrit and other versions of the Ramayana, the singing of devotional hymns to Rama and dramatic and dance music from India and South-East Asia including Gamelan music associated with shadow puppet plays in Bali and Java.
Library sources said that the Mewar Ramayana manuscripts were produced between 1649 and 1653 for Rana Jagat Singh of Mewar in his court studio at Udaipur.