Festivals

How a ‘Woman with a Lamp on Diwali’ became an iconic painting

This image of a woman holding a lamp is one of India’s most iconic paintings. But what makes it so special? Is the woman in the painting an important figure? Did the artist intend...

Shubho Mahalaya : celebrating the Glory of the Goddess

Shubho Mahalaya!  As a child growing up with Bengali grandparents, this day meant about waking up to the sound of a booming voice on the radio, narrating a story I couldn't particularly understand; it...

Art of the Book : Quran & Calligraphy

Tonight is the start of Ramadan, and as our Muslim friends start celebrating, here’s a glimpse into the collection of Quran manuscripts from around the world along with some fascinating objects with calligraphed verses....

In 20-Holi-Pictures: Celebration through the Ages

On the day of Holi, you can always spot two sorts of people. Those who love playing and can’t get enough of colour; and those who watch from their balconies, throwing water...

In Pictures: Christian Art in the Mughal Period

The Introduction of Christianity Jesuit missionaries were the first group of Europeans to visit the Mughal court. They initially arrived at the Portuguese colony of Goa in 1542. At the invitation of Akbar (r. 1556-1605),...

In Paintings: Diwali & A History of Firecrackers in India

This Diwali, I'm exploring the many paintings that depict the celebration and ethos of Diwali while digging out the history of firecrackers. The use of firecrackers is not new to India. While they originated in...
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