The Archeological Museum

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Museum
Painting showing martydom of five Christian priests

The museum has been functioning since 1964 in the abandoned convent of St. Francis of Assisi and is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. The collection consists of Brahmanical sculptures, hero-stones and sati-stones of the early and late medieval periods, portraits, Coins and currency, revenue and court fee stamps, wooden and bronze sculptures and armory of the Portuguese period.

The Museum was rearranged and reorganized completely in connection with the CHOGM(Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) Retreat in Goa in 1982.

A long hall lying to the left of the entrance to the Museum converted into two galleries by laying RCC floor with a newly-constructed wide staircase at the extreme west to facilitate access to the first floor.

The new annexe building thus provided additional area to the existing museum and finally the entire first floor was relaid with a teakwood floor resembling the original in order to bring a uniform look to the whole complex.

The subsequent phases of cultural sequence are shown with the help of available sculptures of Brahmanical deities, displayed in chronological order representing the bust of Siva Parvati (Uma-Mahesvara of the Chalukyan period, seventh century AD), followed by the sculptures of the Silaharas ,and Kadambas of Goa.

 

The important exhibits on display in this gallery are the images of a standing Vishnu of tenth century AD, accompanied by Lakshmi and Garuda on the left and right respectively. There are also exquisite sculptures depicting ten incarnations of Vishnu (Dasavratara) on the prabhabali (thirteenth century AD), the standing Surya accompanied by Dandaa and Pingala, Gaja-Lakshmi Mahishasuramardini and seated icons of Uma-Mahesvara with the head missing. Hanumana, pranala with a cow and a calf.

The hero-stones forming part of this gallery are rather unique in representing naval battles that emphasized the maritime power of the Kadambas. One hero-stone shows a royal personage sitting on a throne in his palace with numerous attendants and his queen. The bottom panel shows him engaged in a fierce naval battle wherein are shown the ships and the soldiers.

Along with a few stone and wooden sculptures of Brahmanical gods and goddesses, Christian saints are also exhibited in a showcase in the centre of the big hail. I eastern half of this showcase is used for displaying Hindu gods and goddesses. The metal bust of Gangadhara(popularly known in Goa as Manguesh) of the seventeenth-eighteenth century AD and a few minor stone sculptures of Khandoba, Karttikeya, Usha on makara, etc., are arranged to highlight the rich heritage of Goa under the Hindu rulers.

In the western half are displayed wood and ivory objects of Christian saints, Jesus Christ, Mary Immaculate, St. Anthony, St. Anne and Jesus, St. Augustine and Mary. This art was nourished and nurtured under the patronage of the Portuguese rulers of Goa.

Other objects on display are the lintel of a temple depicting various types of sikharas, architectural pieces, sati-stones, hero-stones, an inscribed slab containing a Kannada inscription of Devaraya, the Vijayanagara king, recording the grant of a Jaina Basti, Arabic and Portuguese inscriptions, wooden statues of John the Baptist, St. Peter, infant Jesus, St. Mary and sculptured panels representing floral decorations, royal coat of arms, bishop coat of arms, Goan type basket full of fruits, fountains, head of a lion and the tombstone of D. Diogo de Noranha, the first captain of Daman, all in stone.

 

 

Hero-stone, ASI Museum Old Goa (Fourteen century AD)

 

Bronze sculpture of Luiz Vz De Camoes, national poet of Portugal (1524-80)

 

 

The hero-stones forming part of this gallery are rather unique in representing naval battles that emphasized the maritime power of the Kadambas. One hero-stone shows a royal personage sitting on a throne in his palace with numerous attendants and his queen. The bottom panel shows him engaged in a fierce naval battle wherein are shown the ships and the soldiers.

Along with a few stone and wooden sculptures of Brahmanical gods and goddesses, Christian saints are also exhibited in a showcase in the centre of the big hail. I eastern half of this showcase is used for displaying Hindu gods and goddesses. The metal bust of Gangadhara(popularly known in Goa as Manguesh) of the seventeenth-eighteenth century AD and a few minor stone sculptures of Khandoba, Karttikeya, Usha on makara, etc., are arranged to highlight the rich heritage of Goa under the Hindu rulers.

In the western half are displayed wood and ivory objects of Christian saints, Jesus Christ, Mary Immaculate, St. Anthony, St. Anne and Jesus, St. Augustine and Mary. This art was nourished and nurtured under the patronage of the Portuguese rulers of Goa.

The main attraction in this key gallery is the imposing 3 m high bronze statue of Luiz de Camoes (AD 1524-1580), the national poet of Portugal. The one-eyed poet holds in his right hand the scrolls of his poem, Os Lusiadas, which describes the voyage of Vasco da Gama from Portugal to India and back.  This statue, originally installed in the centre of the garden in 1960, was damaged in 1982.

Gallery Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 are located in the quadrangle in the groung floor. In GaIlery 2 are displayed models of various types of sikharas, replica of a pillar, architectural pieces, a Siva-linga and a Nandi.

in Gallery 3 are displayed images of a seated Ganesa, Mahishasuramardini, a standing Vishnu with Garuda, three Vetala images, seated Uma-Mahesvara with Karttikeya, Bhringi and Ganesa on  the pedestal, Kala Bhairava, Lakshmi, torso of a warrior and Siva-linga. In the showcase minor objects such as, the head of Brahma, head of Nandi, Kula Devata, Mahishasuramardini, and an architectural piece are on display. In the adjoining room are displayed the model of a sixteenth century Portuguese ship and iron anchors.

In Gallery 4 are displayed medieval hero-stones and sati-stones. The sati stone displayed alongside the hero-stones, commemorate sati or widow burning and have panels showing the heroes in battle, thus serving both as hero-stones and sati-stones.

In Gallery 5 are displayed the inscribed slabs in Marathi (fourteenth-fifteenth century AD), Arabic/Persian pertaining to Ibrahim Adil Shah and other Adil Shah kings of Bijapur (sixteenth-seventeenth century AD). The Marathi inscriptions record the grants of Hindu temples, while the Arabic / Persian inscriptions record the construction of a masjid and a bastion within the fort at Old Goa. A huge stone panel on the other side of the verandah depicts a coat-of-arms in the centre and. St. Peter and St. Paul proclaiming the gospel and a Portuguese inscription (AD 1644) on either side. In the niche of the wall is a stone pillar brought from Santhome, Madras in AD 1630. A piece of iron of the lance with which St. Thomas the Apostle, was supposed to have been killed, was preserved in a small niche at the top of the pillar. The two sides of the pillar are painted with the figures of St. Thomas and St. Francis of Assisi.

In the centre of the open courtyard, a life-size image of St. Catherine is displayed under a Goan-type pillared shed. The courtyard has been improved by laying lawns and laterite paved pathways with specially designed grills.

As one proceeds to the first floor galleries, on display is a short history of portrait paintings of the governors and viceroys of Goa. There is a complete list of Portuguese Governors and Viceroys (AD 15054961) on the western wall. The visitor can then move on to see a large number of portraits on wood and canvas.

Viceroy Dom Joao de Castro(AD 1545-1548) initiated and ordered paintings of his own portrait and also of his twelve predecessors. This practice continued till the end of the Portuguese rule in India in 1961. These portraits are painted either on wooden planks or on canvas in oil colours. A short label is also fixed to each painting indicating the name and the regnal year. They were painted by local artists and also subjected to restoration or repainting on many occasions. These paintings, originally decorating the walls of different residential mansions of the governors and viceroys, were shifted from the Secretariat, Panaji, to the Museum in 1962 for viewing.

 

Mahishasuramardini (Seventeenth century AD)

 

 

Below: Portrait of Dom Joao de Castro (Sixteenth century AD)

 

 

Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ (Seventeenth century AD)

 

Many of these are life-size paintings and provide an interesting study in the evolution of contemporary costumes and hairstyles of Europe.

They also give an idea of the different coat-of-arms besides their individual personalities and appearances. The paintings are barricaded by providing a brass chain railing and burglar alarm.

In Gallery 6 are also displayed the portrait paintings of governors and viceroys. Among these, the portraits of Vasco da Gama, Dom Stevam da Gama and Dom Joao De Castro are noteworthy.

Two wooden screens kept in the gallery were utilized for exhibiting portrait paintings, maps of Goa, postal, revenue and court fee stamps of Portuguese India. An island showcase was introduced to display Chinese blue and white porcelain potsherds painted  with various motifs, inscriptions and symbols, besides ties painted with floral motifs imported from Italy, Portugal and France. These tiles were used for decorating the walls and floors of the churches and convents in Goa.

In the vertical type coin showcases are exhibited Portuguese currency (Escudos, Rupias) and silver, copper, lead, and bras coins. Afonso de Albuquerque ordered minting of coins soon after his conquest of Goa in 1510. The major denominations include the Portuguese Manoel, Leal and the indigenous Pardav, Tanga, Xerafins, Rupia, etc. The most common type of coin is the one with the holy cross or king and queen on the obverse, along with a circular legend and the year and coat of arms on the reverse.

The currency notes usually show the image of Afonso de Albuquerque on the right side with the legend ‘Banco Nacional Uframarino’ and ‘India Portuguesa’ and denominations on obverse and sea motif on the reverse. The denominations are 10, 20, 30, 50, 60, 100, 300, 500, 600 and 1000 Escudos, Rupias.

In this gallery, wooden sculptures of Jesus and St. Francis Xavier are also on display. In the chapel on the southern wall is a painting depicting Mary descending from Heaven, accompanied by little children and a few saints. The wooden frame and the borders of this painting are decorated and gilded.

In Gallery 7 are displayed more portrait paintings of governors and viceroys. In the showcase are exhibited the plaster cast bust of Governor Philippe Bernando Guedes (1952-1959) on one side and the wooden statue of St. Peter on the other side.

Two wooden sculptures of the Bishop are also displayed in another showcase. In the verandahs are displayed some wooden sculptures of Christian saints, i.e., Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Peter, St. Lousio, St. Lucia, St. Sisilica and Jesus Christ.

These were accompanied by some religious paintings depicting the life scenes of Jesus, his birth, trial, crucifixion and his descent from the Cross.

The vast verandah on the southern side is used to display huge panel paintings depicting the martyrdom of Jesuit priests. A wooden screen was also used for display of paintings of governors. Wooden sculptures of Jesus and an unknown saint were displayed in the centre of this gallery.

In Gallery 8 are displayed the portraits of governors and viceroys. The notable one among these is the one of Dom Bernado Peires Da Silva who was the only governor who hailed from Goa. In a small niche on the northern wall is displayed a bust in plaster cast of Maria Da Fonte of Portugal. A photograph of Vassalo de Silva, the last governor general is also on display.

There is on display a wooden sculpture of St. Joseph. Some portraits of bishops and governors of Goa, and Presidents of Portugal and Dr. Salazar, the Prime Minister of Portugal during whose time Goa was liberated by the Indian Army on 19 December 1961 are on view in the verandah. Also on display in the verandah are a few Portuguese arms like rifles, swords, a dagger, stone and iron cannon balls. A model of the Fort of Diu is on view nearby. Outside the Museum building, six cannons and a number of stone cannon balls of different sizes are exhibited.

In addition to the antiquities displayed in the Museum, there is a counter for sale and display of publications of the AS1. The Museum has recently introduced a video show on World Heritage Sites and Monuments, as we11 as a children’s activity centre.
eenth century AD)

Content sourced from asigoacircle.gov.in

 

Team InsideGoa
Author: Team InsideGoa

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