South Asian Art
VMFA is home to one of America’s premier collections of Greater Indian and Himalayan art, featuring spectacular examples of sculpture, paintings, architecture, textiles, and decorative art.Search This Collection
The Kagyu Monk Champa Phuntshok
Armour Skirt IV
Geometric Abstraction 3
Mandala of the Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities of the Bardo
Highlights - Art of Greater India
This collection showcases the diversity of regional cultures and religious traditions that have defined the Indian subcontinent’s artistic production over more than 3000 years. From sublime sculptures and stunning paintings, to opulent textiles and glittering decorative arts, it is filled with masterpieces that both delight and educate.
Page from the Nasir al-Din Shah Album: Portrait of a Mughal Woman
Dance of Shiva and Kali
Page from a Bhagavata Purana Manuscript: Krishna Distributes Butter to the Monkeys
Shiva as King of Dancers (Nataraja)
Page from a Gita Govinda Series: Krishna and Radha Make Love
Krishna and His Friends Celebrate Holi in the Forests of Vrindavan
End Panel from a Casket: The Invisible Demon Indrajit Fires Arrows at Rama, Lakshmana, and Their Monkey Allies
Vishnu as the Boar Avatar (Varaha)
Highlights - Art of the Himalayas
The arts of Nepal and Tibet are represented through an impressive assemblage of paintings, sculptures, book arts, textiles, and ritual objects spanning nearly eight centuries. Most of these artworks relate to the region’s dominant religious traditions, Buddhism and Hinduism, both of which came to the Himalayas from India.
Shakyamuni Buddha with Two Bodhisattvas, Thirty-Five Buddhas of Confession, and Seventeen Arhats
Green Tara and Attendants
Serpent King (Nagaraja)
Crowned Buddha Touching the Head of a King
Vajrasattva and Consort with Gods and Teachers
Chakrasamvara and Vajravarahi
Ritual Crown with Five Cosmic Buddhas
The Spiritual Life of Tsongkhapa
Mandala of Hevajra
On view in the South Asian Galleries
Love & Longing in Indian Painting
The varied aspects of romantic love is one of the most prominent themes in the arts of India. Authors produced treatises on the many types of lovers and their differing temperaments. Poets compiled cycles of verse likening love’s phases to the passage of the seasons. Writers compared the religious quest for unity with the divine to the pursuit of one’s beloved. Composers crafted musical arrangements to express love’s many moods. And artists created paintings to visualize these and myriad other musings on the subject of love.
This exhibition’s presentation explores the subject matter of love; its many facets and the wide range of emotions it can produce— from enchantment, passion, and joy to betrayal, self-pity, and anguish.