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Walking into N.C. Mehta Gallery

Walking into N.C. Mehta Gallery

Walking into N.C. Mehta Gallery is an experience stimulating for many art lovers, who are interested in admiring Indian art through miniature paintings. The gallery has collections on display on almost every popular school, where one can spend hours admiring and comparing the different styles. This write up is a little guide to the actual experience you would go through when you make your personal visit to the gallery.

Veiled in the hustle-bustle of the trafficked city of Ahmedabad, N.C. Mehta Gallery with the parent support of L.D. Museum, has a tranquil setup. As you walk towards the concrete structure before you, enjoy the noise cancellation of the bustling city, and enter into the lush green premises, accompanied by peacocks and twitchy squirrels. The structure before you is the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum with, incorporated as a part of  L.D. Museum, back in 1993. Today this building itself is a visual experience for many young architects, to study the architectural plan of Balkrishna.V. Doshi, a renowned architect of Ahmedabad.

Heading further where you reach is at the humble entrance of N.C.Mehta Gallery, a gallery dedicated to Indian Miniatures. This gallery houses some of the world appreciated collections of Late Shri Nanalal Chamanbhai Mehta, who was a passionate collector of Indian miniatures. His vision was to awaken the people of our country to the beauty, love and understanding of our cultural heritage. At the entrance of this gallery, a brief note on N.C. Mehta and his wife Late Smt. Shanta Nanalal Mehta is framed, as without their interest, none of these paintings would have been revealed before us.

Advancing further where you reach is the ground floor of the gallery which has a systematic display of the various schools of Indian Miniature, along with brief notes to help one understand the works better. A biased dominant display space is given to Jain and Gujarati school miniatures, as they are some of the pride possession of this Gallery. Popular schools of Rajasthan such as Mewar, Bundi, Kotah, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Amber, Bikaner and Marwar are also some of the collections displayed in this floor. Sixteenth century folios like Chaurapanchashika, early Gita-Govind, Kalpasutra and Persian manuscript like Sikandar Nama and Safavid poetry are some of the most admired in this floor. The paintings in this floor range in date, as old as late fifteenth century manuscripts to a wide range of painted folios of early nineteenth century.

Proceeding further  up the stairs, one enters into the lyrical world of Pahari paintings. Unlike the lower floor, where paintings were displayed in a systematic format, here we have paintings displayed on frames standing free from walls. This space has no layout to follow, just walk where your eyes takes you. The omnipresence of Pahari paintings, is what you experience while walking through the labyrinth. Every painting in this floor honor the delicate lines and the grand efforts taken by our Indian artists, and their patron for their passion for art. Tibetian Buddhist Manuscript, Illuminated Quran in Kufiq script, Quran in Al-Naskh Calligraphy, Bhaktamala Granth printed in Lithography Process are few of non Pahari manuscript which might draw once attention in this floor.

Many who walk though the gallery are even thrilled by the condition of the painting which is in well preserved state. Since 1958, the Gujarat Museum Society has taken every care required to preserve this collection which was once donated to them by Smt Shanta Mehta. Until today the Society has successfully maintained the gallery, with the same objective as of N.C. Mehta, to inculcate art appreciation in the society, and to promote study and research in art with a view to preserve our glorious national heritage.

Key words : N.C. Mehta Collection, Miniature Painting, Schools of miniature paintings, on display in N.C. Mehta Gallery, impression of N.C. Mehta Gallery, rating of N.C. Mehta Gallery

Categories : In House Blog, Museum