The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) announces the opening of a special exhibition that explores the life and times of a great Indian Muslim ruler through objects and paintings produced under his rule.
The Tiger’s Dream: Tipu Sultan opens in the MIA Special Exhibitions Gallery on 29 September. It tells the story of Tipu Sultan, the famed historic ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in Southern India. His formidable reputation and strong self-image makes him an extraordinary subject in an exhibition where art, objects and narrative combine to examine the past. This exhibition features a unique group of paintings and a number of historical objects drawn entirely from MIA’s collection.
‘Tipu Sultan was not only a warrior and ruler, but a man who, through his accomplishments, became a legend during his lifetime,’ says William Greenwood, MIA Curator for Central Islamic Lands. ‘The pieces on display in this exhibition are beautiful and can be used to understand how Tipu Sultan continues to be relevant even two centuries after his death.’
The centerpiece of this exhibition is a cycle of paintings depicting the Battle of Pollilur in 1780. Showing Tipu Sultan’s victory over the British army, the paintings appear to be a preparatory works for a palatial mural. In their original state, they formed one continuous roll of rice paper, approximately 2 meters high and 9 meters wide. It has since been cut into 24 separate pieces. The actual wall painting in the Darya Daulat Bagh, the Sultan’s palace, survives to this day.
‘One of the major themes of The Tiger’s Dream is how east and west interacted at a key point in history, where the interconnected world we see today was coming into existence,’ says MIA Head of Exhibitions, Shaika Nasser Al Nassr. ‘Although the figure of Tipu Sultan will be of particular interest to Qatar’s large South Asian population, we hope that a wide audience will visit MIA to learn about his truly remarkable story.’
On view until 24 January 2015, the exhibition will also coincide with a number of activities, including art workshops and special tours. There will also be a series of lectures featuring exhibition curator William Greenwood and locally-based scholars.
More interesting facts around The Tiger’s Dream: Tipu Sultan can be found on www.mia.org.qa/en/tigers-dream.
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