HomeArts/BooksMet’s Exhibition Will Have Rare, Unseen Artefacts From India

Met’s Exhibition Will Have Rare, Unseen Artefacts From India

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Met’s Exhibition Will Have Rare, Unseen Artefacts From India

India-West Staff Reporter

NEW YORK, NY – The Metropolitan Museum of Art is gearing up to present the exhibition ‘Tree and Serpent: Early Buddhist Art in India, 200 BCE–400 CE’ to tell the story of how the religious landscape of ancient India was transformed by Buddhism.

Featuring more than 140 objects dating from 200 BCE to 400 CE, the exhibition will present a series of evocative and interlocking themes to reveal both the pre-Buddhist origins of figurative sculpture in India and the early narrative traditions that were central to this formative moment in early Indian art, a press release said.  It will have major loans from a dozen lenders across India and from around the world, the Met said.  

Objects associated with Indo-Roman exchange will reveal India’s place in early global trade while highlights will include spectacular sculptures from southern India—newly discovered and never before publicly exhibited masterpieces—that add to the world canon of early Buddhist art, the museum said.

Among these is a 3rd century Buddha statue from Nelakondapally in Khammam. The limestone Buddha statue in abhaya mudra was created during the Ikshavaku dynasty and was unearthed in 1977.

“Buddhism inspired an extraordinarily innovative and beautiful flowering of art in ancient India. It is a tremendous honor to present this stunning exhibition—and to introduce new discoveries from this pivotal moment in the history of art—to our global audience,” Max Hollein, the Marina Kellen French Director of The Met, said.

Hollein expressed “special thanks” to the Government of India and the six state governments in India, “who have all been generous lenders to this pioneering exhibition, along with institutions in Europe and the United States.”

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