Saturday, December 12, 2009

Rajasthani Painting

Detail from a Rajasthani miniature painting currently on display in the exhibition Garden and Cosmos, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The word miniature, derived from the Latin minium, red lead, is a picture in an ancient or medieval illuminated manuscript; the simple decoration of the early codices having been miniated or delineated with that pigment. The generally small scale of the medieval pictures has led secondly to an etymological confusion of the term with minuteness and to its application to small paintings especially portrait miniatures, which did however grow from the same tradition and at least initially use similar techniques.


Anonymous said...

The painting of Ganesha from Jodhpur is almost 4 feet in length. Calling it a miniature perfectly illustrates the problem with taking vocabulary developed in one context (medieval Europe) and applying it to other cultures and concepts.

jeronimus said...

I was surprised at how large some of the works in the exhibition are. They have a presence that is hard to appreciate in reproductions.