M3 Features

Victoria Memorial to showcase valuable paintings on Sikhs

November 6, 2014

In celebration of Guru Nanak Jayanti on Thursday, the iconic Victoria Memorial Hall here has put on display a relatively contemporary miniature painting of the first Sikh guru and plans to hold an exhibition of old paintings centered on the community next year.

The miniature by W. Kapoor Singh, a non-celebrity artist, shows Nanak flanked by two others - one playing a musical instrument - in the shade of a tree. It was acquired by the VMH in 1911.

Not too much is known about it, conceded its curator and Secretary Jayanta Sengupta. As it is not a Mughal miniature extensive details about it in are unavailable in the accession records. Guessing it to be a painting from the middle of the 19th century or so, it is a comparatively modern miniature painted in old style.

It is a very stunning painting. W. Kapoor Singh was not one of the celebrity artists but very skilled, said Sengupta. About around 2.5 ft by 1.5 ft piece of art, it will be on display through November as the object of the month.

Sengupta said the VMH intends to hold an exhibition showcasing the considerable number of paintings it has on Sikhs. Paintings on Guru Tegh Bahadur (the ninth Sikh leader) and also paintings by British artists on Sikh commoners are on display at the gallery. An exhibition of Sikh paintings is also in talks for showcasing next year. There are plans to hold one exhibition on Tipu Sultan and also one themed on Wajid Ali Shah, the official said.

VMH is regarded as the largest repository in India for the visual history of Kolkata. It boasts of major collections of paintings, manuscripts and sculptures from the British period.

Feature Image: Wikipedia

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