Still vibrant life

Like figures on a certain Grecian urn, they dwell in the eternal moment. An archer draws his bow, a courtier nurses a goblet, women chatter, and blossoms, long gone, never fade. History is told in RAPTURE: THE ART OF INDIAN TEXTILES (Niyogi, Rs 3,995) by Rahul Jain: empires rise and fall and that is woven, people arrive from foreign lands and that is painted on fabric, seasons change in familiar floral patterns. Court scenes from the Deccan adorn a mid-17th century wall hanging (left). Archers and swordsmen appear on samite-weave silk from East India dating back to the 15th or 16th century (top middle). A startled Ganesh looks out of a pendant shrine with lotuses from 18th-century Andhra Pradesh (right). The collection seems to draw its name from Rapture, a temple cloth from Rajasthan, made in the late 18th century (bottom middle).

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