Gitagovinda India's Great Love Story

Front cover image

Edited by Caroline Widmer; Museum Rietberg

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Arnoldsche Art Publishers
Territory: UK, US, Eastern Europe, France, Benelux, Japan, South Korea, Africa, South America & Ireland exclusive. South Africa, N&M East non-exclusive
Size: 203 mm x 300 mm
Pages: 152
Illustrations: 57 colour

RRP £35.00

  • The most famous love story from India, accompanied by magnificent illustrations
  • This book's landscape format shows the paintings in their original size
  • Accompanies an exhibition at Museum Rietberg, Zurich, Switzerland, 24 October 2019 - 16 February 2020

The tale of the shepherd girl Radha and the Hindu god Krishna is probably the most famous love story in India. Written by Jayadeva at the end of the twelfth century, the Gitagovinda narrates the highs and lows of Radha and Krishna's relationship. As a vivid metaphor for the human yearning for god, the work is today closely associated in India with the religiosity of Krishna. In the eighteenth century, in the former princely residence of Guler, the artist family of Nainsuhk and Manaku created the outstanding picture series of the second Guler Gitagovinda of 1775/80, which recounts the love story with an unparalleled elegance. This book retells the story using selected pieces from this series (printed in original size) and whisks the reader off into the atmospheric world of Indian miniature painting and poetry.

This book accompanies an exhibition at Museum Rietberg, Zurich, 24 October 2019 - 16 February 2020.

Text in English and German.

Caroline Widmer has been a curator of miniature paintings from India and Pakistan at Museum Rietberg, Switzerland, since 2017. After obtaining her PhD in religious studies (majoring in Indology) at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, she became a post-doc scholarship holder and devoted herself to researching Indian painting.

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