Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Peacock in the Desert

11/16/18 Elephant model in wedding finery

Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India, is the Seattle Art Museum’s extraordinary exhibit spanning 500 years. In addition to paintings, the hundreds of pieces in the show include furnishings, jewelry and armor previously displayed in the Marwar-Jodhpur palace. Many of the paintings reminded me of a 2009 show at the Seattle Asian Art Museum called Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur. Both exhibits required walking around with a magnifying glass to view the tiny, exquisite details that looked like they were painted with eyelashes. The brilliant color palette of intense red, gold, purple, green and blue was dazzling!

I had only a short time to sketch right after the museum doors opened and before the crowds got too thick, but I couldn’t resist grabbing this quick capture of a life-size elephant model. Dressed up in wedding procession finery, the elephant had a painted face and was wearing gold earrings. A nearby video and photos showed how elephants would be used ceremonially to transport members of the wedding party.

Local friends: Don’t miss this exhibit! It’s at SAM through Jan. 21, 2019.

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