Calming the Storm III

This folio titled ‘Calming the Storm III’ 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.

This painting is part of a triptych narrating the biblical episode where Jesus calms the storm. In the last of the three panels, Jesus with a raised hand orders the storm to recede. The vicious monster that embodied the fury of the sea is now subdued and acquires a rather comical appearance (top left). The others on the boat are relieved and seem to be resting—the man who fell overboard has been rescued by his companions, and another ties the turban that probably came undone in the chaos. This work is inspired by the miniature painting traditions that flourished in the hills of Punjab as well as in the Mughal court. See the triptych here.

Calming the Storm III
Album Title
Paul Abraham with Manish Soni
Opaque watercolour and natural pigments on hand-made paper
H: 60 cm x W: 49.6 cm
Accession No.