This folio titled ‘The Birth of Christ’ 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 Hamzanama, the earliest expression of the Indian subcontinent’s celebrated Indo-Islamic art tradition.
In this painting, an infant Jesus is portrayed with his parents Mary and Joseph inside a cave, as the three kings bearing gifts approach the family. A fortified city, complete with Indo-Islamic domes and gilded Bangla-type roofs, looms over the horizon.
TitleBirth of Christ (Nativity)
ArtistPaul Abraham with Manish Soni
MediumOpaque watercolour and natural pigments on hand-made paper
Dimensions61.5 cm x 50.5 cm(Without Frame); 75.5. cm X 65.2 cm (With Frame)
Genre: Modern & Contemporary Art