This folio titled ‘The Last Supper’ is a part of the Issanama series.
The Issanama commission lies at the intersection of art and history, and offers lush evidence of the plurality and syncretism inherent in Indian culture. It’s an artistic collaboration between the founder of Sarmaya, Paul Abraham and traditional miniaturist and third-generation artist, Manish Soni of Bhilwara, Rajasthan. As such, the Issanama offers a fresh model of art patronage for the contemporary era, one in which the patron enters into an intellectual dialogue with the artist.
The commission illustrates episodes from the Bible and the life of Jesus Christ in the exquisite landscape of the miniature style, the earliest expression of the Indian subcontinent’s celebrated Indo-Islamic art tradition.
The scene here shows Jesus and his twelve apostles huddled around a fire, on what seems like a cold and silent night, for a simple meal. This painting is an homage to Villagers Around A Fire by the 18th-century Pahari master Nainsukh (1750s – 60s).