Publication: Indicopleustoi: Mahasthan II, Fouilles du Rempart Est

For twenty years a multidisciplinary French-Bangladeshi mission explored the archaeological site of Mahasthangarh in Bangladesh, the ancient Pundranagara mentioned in Sanskrit sources; the first report was published in 2007. Continued research has delivered rich information on this outpost created by the Mauryan empire on its eastern border, which became a capital city over the centuries, especially in the eighth to eleventh centuries during the reign of the Pala and Sena dynasties.

Publication: SAAC vol.4: Cultural Exchange in Eighteenth-Century India: Poetry and Paintings from Kishangarh

Cultural Exchange in Eighteenth-Century India

Cultural Exchange in Eighteenth-Century India:  

Poetry and Paintings from Kishangarh 

By Heidi Pauwels 


This book studies the hybrid intellectual culture of eighteenth-century late-Mughal India, tracing the circulation of poetic and art styles between cosmopolitan Delhi and provincial centers. It presents a case study of the Rajput principality of Kishangarh, which is famous for its paintings that were stylistically influenced by Mughal models, but that thematically portrayed mostly the love play of the Hindu divinities Krishna and Radha.

Exhibition: Positions in Contemporary Korean Lacquer Art (Museum für Lackkunst, Münster, Germany); until February 7, 2016

With selected works by well-known artists, the special exhibition 'Positions in Contemporary Korean Lacquer Art' offers remarkable insights into the creativity inherent in the craft of lacquer as practised on the Korean peninsula today. Works of nine artists from three generations shed light on the special and independent path that Korean lacquer art has been pursuing in the wake of the turbulent events of the twentieth century. 

Exhibition: The Magic of Characters (Museum Rietberg, Zurich); until March 20, 2016

The unique culture of writing that has shaped China for more than 3,000 years is an important reason for the cultural continuity and cohesion that accord China a special place in world history. The exhibition illuminates all aspects of this tradition, highlighting the many different functions ascribed to Chinese writing over the centuries.

Exhibition: Akbar's Golden Legacy (Museum Rietberg, Zurich); November 9, 2015 - February 14, 2016

The Mughals, who originally came from Central Asia, ruled North India in the sixteenth century. While they are best known for their grandiose architecture such as the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort in Agra, the Mughal emperors in India also patronised many other areas of the arts. The studio for illuminated manuscripts established under Emperor Akbar (who reigned from 1556 to 1605) employed well over a hundred painters.

Exhibition: Paper Tigers, Five Centuries of Painting in Korea (Musée Guimet, Paris, France); October 14, 2015 - Feburary 22, 2016

From 14 October 2015 to 22 February 2016.


Drawing from its rich collection of Korean paintings, one of the most important outside Korea, the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts recounts the designs and evolution of five centuries of painting in Korea. Scrolls, books and folding screens offer a panorama, sometimes coloured, sometimes delicately painted in ink, of Korea, from the 14th Century to the beginning of the 20th Century. Exploring in turn religious painting, scholars’ painting, decorative art, sometimes nearly popular, this set strikes by its eclecticism and modern inventiveness. Genre scenes and popular ceremonies illustrate the life and beliefs of a Confucian society which adopted the Palace’s codes. Seeking its own path towards modernity, the Korean society tended to distance itself from its illustrious model, China. Its singular repertoire is full of delicacy, humour and poetry, and the unlikely dialogue between a tiger and a sparrow, so frequent in Korean painting, is a perfect example.

Exhibition: Central Plains between Han and Tang Dynasties (Palazzo Venezia, Rome); July 16th, 2015 - February 28th, 2016

From the 16th of July 2015 to the 28th of February 2016, the halls of the Fifteenth-century Refectory of Palazzo Venezia will showcase the masterpieces of the Henan Provincial Museum, one of the largest museums of the People's Republic of China. The exhibition will tell of the passage from the Han Dynasty – when today’s China began to take shape – to the Golden Age of the Tang Dynasty (581 AD – 907 AD).

Publication: SAAC vol.3: Jaina Painting and Manuscript Culture: In Memory of Paolo Pianarosa

This collection presents new research and evidence on Jaina paintings and illuminated manuscripts. It introduces the reader to so far unpublished palm leaf and paper manuscripts, miniature paintings, cosmological and large-scale pilgrimage banners on cloth, printed texts and maps. The documents come from private, museum and library collections in Europe, North America and India and are introduced by expert authors who are based at a number of international institutions.

Publication: SAAC vol.2: Understanding the Hindu Temple: History, Symbols and Forms

This book aims to explain the multiple symbolic meanings encompassed by and in the Hindu temple. Distinct chapters are dedicated to: (1) the multi-level relationship between the temple, the cosmos and the body of the primordial being; (2) the antecedents of Indian sacred monuments; (3) the basic structure of the Hindu temple and the main temple typologies; (4) the sculptural elements, both anthropomorphic and symbolic; (5) the political, economic, and social role played by the temple in Indian society. Lastly, the volume provides a useful glossary of key architectonic terms.