Paintings from France that are about 170 years old. If they had got Arjun Singh to inaugurate this, it would have been the perfect match.
The Alliance Française Of Hyderabad and the Salarjung Museum, with the support of the cultural section of the French Embassy in India, are presenting a miniature painting exhibition of Jean de la Fontaine's fables, The Dream Of An Inhabitant Of Mogul, by Imam Bakhsh Lahori, at the Salarjung Museum from 8th to 23rd January.
The fables of Jean de la Fontaine, written at the end of the 17th Century, are probably one of the most famous collections of French poems. Even today, school children recite them all over French territories. They draw their inspiration from the fables of the Panchatantra and the Tutinama, as well as from the ancient Greek fables of Aesop.
This exhibition from the collection of French art lover Baron Feuillet de Conches, promises to be a visual treat, resplendent and glorious, dating back to the times of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. A kaledeiscope of colors, these exquisite miniatures form an integral part of the precious collection of the French national museums. French influence can be seen in many a detail of the paintings, the most obvious of all being the volets from Provence and Italy which appear in many illustrations of the fables.
This collection housed in the Musée Jean de la Fontaine, Château-Thierry, France, is coming to India for the first time. The Baron Bastien Félix Feuillet de Conches was born in Paris in 1798. He was an art lover, a collector, an Anglophile. The illustration of La Fontaine's fables was Feuillet's passion. His dream was to constitute an international collection of La Fontaine's fables.
Imam Bakhsh Lahori was an artist and a painter from Lahore. From 1837-39, he was engaged in illustrating the fables of the Fontaine under the supervision of the French General Allard. His works are deeply influenced by the color of the Moghul monuments of Lahore, still existing in his time, in their pristine grandeur.
These splendid miniatures were executed at a time of peace, when art was flourishing in the state of Punjab under the benevolent reign of Ranjit Singh. As it stands today, the miniature paintings of the Fables by Imam Bakhsh are the most accomplished and the most beautiful production of the Lahori School under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
The entry charges to the Salarjung museum are Rs. 10 per head, and the exhibition is open on all days except Fridays, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. For further details, please contact the Alliance Francaise at 2770-0734/2770-0735/2770-0736.