London: A stunning exhibition of Mughal era paintings has opened at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.
The exhibition on Imperial Mughal Albums was opened by Dr Martin Mansergh, the Irish Minister of State with special responsibility for culture, at a gala event attended by the Indian Minister for Corporate Affairs Salman Khurshid and the
Indian Ambassador to Ireland PS Raghavan.
The Chester Beatty Library holds one of the finest and most important collections of Indian Mughal paintings in existence, and this exhibition is a rare opportunity to see many of the best of those works.
The free exhibition runs until October 3. Mansergh said: "This exhibition at the Chester Beatty Library enhances our understanding of the artistic treasures of the great culture of the Mughal empire and offers visitors in the most Western part of Europe an opportunity to discover and view some of the most exciting exhibits of Eastern cultures."
The exhibition includes over 100 works, most of which are from six albums (muraqqa?s) compiled in India between about 1600 and 1658 for the Mughal emperors Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
Almost every album folio in the exhibition consists of a painting on one side and a panel of beautifully rendered calligraphy on the other, each set within borders filled with
swirling arabesque designs or magnificent flowering plants.
Many of the paintings are portraits of emperors, princes and courtiers?all dressed in the finest textiles and jewels reflecting the splendor and grandeur of courtly life.
There are also images of Sufis, saints, and animals. Director of the Chester Beatty Library, Dr Michael Ryan said: "This exhibition is a celebration of one of the richest and finest periods of artistic creativity the world has ever known.
The Chester Beatty Library is one of the most important repositories of these folios and this is a rare opportunity to see so many of these unique works displayed together."