Pleasure Gardens and Garden Tombs
Courtly Art in the Mughal Empire

28.04.2006 to 28.01.2007

Museum für Asiatische Kunst

The Museum für Indische Kunst (Museum of Indian Art) brings the Indian spring to Berlin-Dahlem with this exhibition. A wide range of representations of Indian gardens of the Mughal period, the 16th to 19th centuries, not only reveals to the visitor their extraordinary artistic finesse but also illuminates their intrinsic Islamic symbolism.

The exhibition, its striking colour scheme smartly integrated into the elegant museum space, presents a selection of miniatures of very high quality, among them representations of the Taj Mahal, probably the most famous of all garden tombs. In sophisticted fashion, the paintings reflect the omnipresence of the subject of the garden in the art of the Mughal courts.

But the painters, highly esteemed at the courts, were not alone in their praise of nature in terms of Islamic conceptions of Paradise. Elements of the Indian flora and fauna can be found in objects made of many different materials, including the highly precious nephrit jade and other gems, skillfully inlaid metal or especially fine carpet fragments.