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‘Gods and Lovers: Paintings and Sculptures from India’ exhibit opens at The Ringling in Sarasota

Story provided by The Ringling



The Goddess Durga,
ca. late-18th century Eastern India Cream sandstone with some red pigment
54 1/2 × 16 1/2 × 8 1/2 in.
Bequest of John Ringling, 1936. SN5409

The Goddess Kali in the cremation ground
ca. 1850 Northern India, Pahari region
Opaque pigments with gold on paper
Sheet: 10 1/4 × 7 3/16 in. (26 × 18.3 cm)
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of
Art, Museum purchase, 2022.17

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota presents its latest exhibition, “Gods & Lovers: Paintings and Sculptures from India,” in the Pavilion gallery of the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Center for Asian Art. The display runs through May 28, 2023, and showcases works of art from private collections and The Ringling’s permanent collection. The paintings were created by artists affiliated with royal courts across northern, central and western India between the 16th and 19th centuries. “This exceptional group of paintings offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore a range of devotional and secular subjects and to better understand India’s rich artistic heritage,” explains Rhiannon Paget, Ph.D., The Ringling’s Curator of Asian Art. 

Drawing from Hindu scripture and literature, classical music, and court culture, the paintings weave together tales of divine love, earthly splendor, heroism, desire and vengeance.

It includes delicate and elaborately detailed paintings produced in the royal ateliers of the Mughal rulers, a Muslim dynasty of Turkic-Mongol origin that controlled large parts of northern India between the 16th and 19th centuries. Mughal court artists seeking new patronage brought their styles to Rajasthan in the northwest, where they blended them with local traditions. Also well represented in the exhibition are paintings from the mountainous Pahari region, in India’s extreme northwest, which almost exclusively depict Hindu subject matter.

To reflect upon the history of Indian art at The Ringling, several Indian sculptures acquired by John Ringling between 1926 and 1930 are also on view. The objects, comprising Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain examples created between the 4th and the 14th century, represent a range of beliefs and artistic styles. Highlights of Indian sculpture from the John Ringling Bequest are on permanent display in neighboring galleries of the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Center for Asian Art. 

The exhibition will be the subject of a lecture by guest speaker Wes Ervin, a specialist in Indian painting in the Mughal Period. Dr. Ervin will lead a visual exploration of each painting. For more information on this lecture Dec. 8, visit

The Ringling is at 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. For more information, visit


At the invitation of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and First Lady Casey DeSantis, guests arrived from across the Sunshine State: Tampa, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Orlando, Ocala and Tallahassee itself. For the second time since 2019, Indian American physicians, entrepreneurs, hotel/motel owners and other professionals came together at the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee on Oct. 26 event. The governor and first lady lit the traditional diyaoil lamp and welcomed the invitees.

Once again, Danny Gaekwad, a prominent businessman and entrepreneur from Ocala, began the process that led to the second Diwali event in the governor’s mansion. He started the process some years ago upon DeSantis’ election simply by asking the new state chief executive the question: “Would you consider Diwali here at the mansion?” Gaekwad had asked. “Promise he gave me, promise he kept.”

A welcome sign greeted visitors at the front steps, while the home’s interior bright with light from oil lamps displayed its decorations. Savories, sweets and a full delicious Indian cuisine spread tempted appetites.


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