From the Collection


In the Hindu religion, Varaha is the third avatar of Vishnu, the preserver god in the Hindu Trimurti (trinity). He appeared in the form of a boar during the Satya Yuga. A variety of legends concerning the avatar centre upon the submergence of the Earth in water due to the action of the demon Hiranyaksha. Varaha dove deep into these waters to slay the demon, carrying the Earth from below the depths to safety.
Hinduism teaches that whenever humanity is threatened by extreme social disorder and wickedness, God will descend into the world as an avatar to restore righteousness, establish cosmic order, and redeem humanity from danger. The avatar doctrine presents a view of divinity that is compatible with evolutionary thinking since it suggests a gradual progression of avatars from amphibian through mammal to later human and godly forms. Most importantly, the concept of avatar presents the theological view of a deeply personal and loving God who cares about the fate of humanity rather than ignores it. Time and time again, the various avatars are willing to intervene on humanity’s behalf to protect its overall cosmic well-being (loka-samgraha).


Liberation/ Revelation/ Representation: The art of Bhupen Khakhar

A 00011126 - 83x74
Dream | Bhupen Khakhar | Etching | A/P | 1990 | Swaraj Collection

When I feel I’m telling the truth, then there is no restraint.

– Bhupen Khakhar


The exhibition is on at the Swaraj Archive till the 15th of April ’18. Do drop by!

From the Collection

Calcutta | Aleksei Saltykov | Gouache on paper (Double-sided) | Swaraj Collection
Prince Aleksei Dmitrievich Saltykov (1806–1859) was a Russian artist and traveller in Persia and India. He was the grandson of Prince Nikolay Saltykov, born in St. Petersburg on 1 February 1806 to Prince Dmitri Nikolaevich Saltykov and Anna Nikolaevna Leontieva. The Soltykov name was one of the more esteemed in Russia.
Alexis’s early days are somewhat of a mystery. He grew up in St Petersburg and at the age of eighteen joined the diplomatic services with the Russian State Board (Collegium) for Foreign Affairs in Moscow. By the age of 23 he was with the Russian Foreign Service, first in Constantinople, then in Athens, later in London, Florence, Rome, and Teheran. In 1840, Alexis retired and moved to Paris where he planned his voyages to India. He ended up making two voyages there (1841–43 and 1844–46), and achieving the sobriquet ‘The Indian’ from the Russian and French aristocracy. In 1849 he published a selection of his letters in French accompanied by his drawings, which became very well known in Europe “Lettres sur L’Inde”. Paris,1848). In 1851 the book was translated into Russian and became an instant success: it truly enraptured the Russian reading public. The drawings were published separately in London in 1859 as “Drawings on the Spot”.