Sunday, February 17, 2008

The National Art Gallery

The National Art Gallery

The National Art Gallery was established by Government of Nepal, Department of Archaeology in 1960 A.D. at the Singhadhoka building complex of Bhaktapur Palace. It was inaugurated by the first elected Prime Minister Shree Bishweshowar Prased Koirala on the occassion of Shree Panch Tribhuven Jayanti. This museum was founded to preserve and introduce traditional paintings of Nepal. This Museum has not been able to function as National Art Museum due to lack of space and management. The collection, however, is not very large but some of the paubhas and manuscript covers are indeed magnificent.

Stone Art Section

This section lies in the ground floor of the building beside the main entrance of the Gallery. In the arcade, there are some representative stone inscriptions have been shown including the time of Lichchavi King Shiva Deva and King Yaksha Malla dated 588 N.S. There are some remarkable stone sculptures. The stone sculputures here are mostly from Bhaktapur area and some of them are the best representative of early medieval to medieval sculputure art of Nepal.The four faced Shivalinga, Harihar, Surya, Chandrama, Vishnu, Tara, Ardhanariswar and some architectural fragments are worth mentioning stone art exhibits.

Painting Section

The first floor has various mediums of works of paintings. In this section paubhas are remarkable particularly. Among those that deserve close consideration are Vasundhara Mandala, Ganesh with sakti, Mahisa Sambhara, Vajra Yogini and Shiva Viswarupa. In the main exhibition hall of the section, there are five showcases in the middle of the room, these showcases are exhibited a few illustrated manuscripts and covers. Among them the most notable is the pilgrimage tour of King Pratap Malla. Another remarkable manuscripts are 11th century Vishnu Dasavatara 13th century manuscript cover of Shiva Dharma Purana. In this section, there is a rectangular room like a corridor, the northern wall painting facing south has rows of paintings all with captions and Shiva Viswarupa, who is multiarmed and multiheaded. The wrist of cosmic manifestation of Shiva has name of King Bhupatindra Malla, 17th century ruler, who made famous fiftyfive windows palace.The long corridors have many water colour paintings of acquatic world, the mythical dragons, various birds, bulls and so on. They are the best representations of medieval folk art of Nepal.

Woodwork Section

The woodwork section has been housed in Pujari-math, which is situated at Hachapal tole of Bhaktapur behind Dattatreya temple. The Pujari-math is considered as the oldest math in the Kathmandu Valley. The Pujari Math with courtyards are decorated with richly carved windows and pillars. The Mara Vijaya, Pooja Devi, Viswaroop and Aryatara, these are the magnificient exhibits of woodwork section.

Metalwork Section

The metalwork section has been housed at Chikan Pha Math, which is situated at Tachapal tole of Bhaktapur, just opposite to Pujari Math. This section has been popularly known as iconless metal work. In this section, the religious and ritual objects of Newar community have been displayed particularly. Almost exhibits are of early 20th century.

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