Nepal, Kathmandu Valley Art

From October 20, 2021 to January 10, 2022 at the National Museum of Asian Arts-Guimet

Vajradhara and his consort. Nepal, 1488. Gouache on canvas. © RMN-Grand Palais (MNAAG, Paris) / Thierry Ollivier

The art of Nepal, which until the middle of the 18e century designated the only valley of Kathmandu, occupies a major place within the arts of the Himalayan world, in spite of the modest surface of the country. An exceptional art developed there, finding its first impulse in that of India but acquiring by its originality a reputation which extended to Tibet and to the imperial court of China.

The exhibition presents around 90 works from this mythical and little-known country, coming from the collections of the National Museum of Asian Arts - Guimet, as well as a selection of important works belonging to the French public collections, brought together for the first time.

The exhibition covers a long history between the 10e and the 19e century. It also presents photographs, drawings, miniatures, sculptures in bronze and wood, as well as Nepalese ritual objects of Buddhist and Hindu obedience. Flourishing in parallel in the Kathmandu valley, the two religious currents sometimes mingled in a very original syncretism, with complex iconography.

The exhibition combines the MNAAG collections with some major works on loan from the Collège de France, the Asian art museums of Nice, Toulouse, and the Quai Branly museum.


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