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VMH displays 17th century Gita Govinda to mark International Mother Language Day

first_imgEmphasising on the relevance and topicality of the manuscripts Jayanta Sengupta, secretary and curator of the VHM said that though the language of the text is Sanskrit but the script is clearly a departure from Devanagari and is in Bengali. “Like many medieval texts Gita Govinda was translated for hundreds of years. These manuscripts were copied by hand in beautiful handwriting much before the technology of printing press arrived. This is the earliest Bengali manuscript we have in the collection of VMH and we found it historically most relevant to display to mark the International Mother Language Day,” Mr Sengupta said. The entire epic poem Gita Govinda comprising 76, folios, ink on paper, measuring 10.6 cm in width and 32.4 cm in length was purchased by Victoria Memorial Hall in 2005 by art collector Indranath Majumdar. The two folios, which have been put up on display, after being conserved by the paper conservation unit of the VMH, depict two different situations in the epic poem. While in one manuscript the image shows Krishna with another Gopi while an anguished Radha sits on the sidelines. In the other one, the Radha can be seen having a tiff with Krishna.Gita Govinda is 12-century text by Sanskrit poet Jaidev. The poem an important text in Bhakti Movement depicts the love of Krishna and his consort, Radha and can also be performed and rendered simultaneously. Mr Sengupta, highlighted the beautiful illustrations on these manuscripts and said that there has been tradition of illustrated manuscripts where illustrations go with the texts not only with Bhakti period texts but also some texts in Arabic, which are in the collections of VMH. “The form of imagery in the illustrated texts is very similar to what Bengal Pat Paintings and Bengal School of Art which evolved a century later after the text,” he added.The two manuscripts of Gita Govinda, at display at Victoria Memorial Hall. The manuscript dates back to 17 th and written in Bengali script.last_img

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