A Stream of Stories
Introduction | Gallery | Listing | Conservation


Indian Miniatures from the National Gallery of Australia
The Gayer–Anderson Gift

30 January – 26 April 1999

AkbarBaz Bahadur

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India The Emperor Akbar seated on an elephant c.1780 National Gallery of Australia. The Gayer-Anderson Gift 1954.

Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India  Baz Bahadur and his mistress Rupmati hunting  c.1780  National Gallery of Australia, The Gayer-Anderson Gift 1954

Indian miniature painting is rich in stories: from epic legends of heroic gods, Mughal emperors and Rajput rulers, to love stories both sad and joyous. These small, intimate paintings are often ornamented with delicate, decorative borders. Traditionally, they were mounted onto coloured paper and compiled into albums to relate the life of a Mughal emperor or a great Hindu legend.

The paintings in A Stream of Stories Indian Miniatures from the National Gallery of Australia date from the 17th century to the early 20th century. They include works from the Mughal courts and provincial areas, Hindu paintings ripe with symbolism from Rajasthan and the Punjab, bold Kalighat paintings produced for pilgrims to Calcutta in the late 19th century and modern paintings from the nationalistic Bengal School. Each painting provides an insight into the richness and diversity of Indian art, culture and religion.

All of the works in the exhibition are from the Gayer-Anderson Gift, a collection of more than 200 Indian and other Asian works donated by the Irish identical twin brothers Colonel T.G. and Major R.G. Gayer-Anderson to the Commonwealth of Australia in 1954.

A Stream of Stories is the first exhibition of Indian art specifically developed for touring. Its launch marks the 10th birthday of the National Gallery's Travelling Exhibitions Program of exhibitions across Australia. Throughout 1998 A Stream of Stories will tour to Port Adelaide and Millicent, South Australia; Geraldton, Western Australia; Hamilton, Victoria; and Mackay and Brisbane, Queensland.