Calming the Storm (triptych)


The triptych titled ‘Calming of the Storm’ 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 triptych tells the story of Jesus calming the storm. The first of the three panels shows Jesus being thronged by followers. Jesus stands at the bank of the river, pointing towards the boat which will take him and his disciples to the ship where they can rest. The second panel shows the storm engulfing the ship as the messiah sleeps on. The storm takes the form of a monster ready to devour the ship and its occupants. The last of the three panels shows Jesus in action. He raises his hand and orders the storm to recede. The vicious monster is now subdued and makes a rather comical appearance on the top left of the painting. See these paintings separately here: Panel 1, Panel 2, Panel 3.

Calming the Storm, a triptych
Album Title
Paul Abraham with Manish Soni
Opaque watercolour and natural pigments on hand-made paper
(left) H: 60 cm x W: 49.6 cm; (centre) H: 60 cm x W: 50 cm ; (right) H: 60 cm x W: 49.6 cm
Accession No.
2018.33.8; 2018.33.9; 2018.33.10