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Volume 34 – Number 4

Apr 2003

Curated by Pratapaditya Pal, the exhibition 'Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure', which opens at The Art Institute of Chicago on 5 April, marks the pinnacle of a long and unfluential career devoted to the study and connoisseurship of the field. The show celebrates the artistic achievements of India, Nepal, TIbet and Bhutan over a period of 1,500 years with 187 works of art drawn from public and private collections in North America, Europe and Asia. A related three-day symposium takes place at the Institute from 4 to 6 April. In this issue, leading scholars share their insight on selected masterpieces from the show. In her discussion of a Tibetan sculpture of the Three Great Protectors, Amy Heller suggests that they may have been the model for the principal images of the Khojarnath chapel, one of the most famous sculptural triads in Tibetan art. Oskar von Hinüber's study of an image of Nandivikramadityanandi from Gilgit highlights the difficulties of interpreting inscriptions. Gautama Vajracharya discusses one of a considerable number of unpublished works that came to light in Pal's preparation for the exhibition - a portrait painted for ritual ancestor worship of Gaganasim and his wives. Karl Debreczeny compares seven paintings bearing the 10th Karma-pa's inscription in his own hand, recently discovered in the Lijang Museum in China, with two examples in the exhibition. 

Amy Heller gives an overview of archaeological finds made in western and central Tibet and Dulan, to place in context a group of gilt-silver artefacts, now in the Pritzker Collection, which are believed to come from the Tibetan empire in Central Asia.
Finally, marking an exhibition of China trade paintings and related objects on view from 29 March to 22 June at the University Museum and Art Gallery in Hong Kong, Kee Il Choi examines a recently discovered painting depicting the vessel 'Gustav Adolph' which is now in the collection of Anthony J. Hardy.
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