Event — IIAS/Rijksmuseum Annual Lecture

Piety and devotion. 16th-century murals in the Virabhadra Temple in Lepakshi, India

A free public lecture by Indian art historian Professor Anna L. Dallapiccola. 

Please note that this is a live event on location only (not online). This lecture takes place at the Rijksmuseum  in Amsterdam from 15:30 - 17.00 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to attend! 

Admission is free; registration via this webpage is required.

The Lecture

Tucked away in the remote village of Lepakshi in south-western Andhra Pradesh, merely two hours from Bangalore International Airport, is one of the finest Vijayanagara period temples.

Dedicated to Virabhadra, an awe-inspiring aspect of Shiva, this temple was probably built between 1531 and 1538. Its patrons were two brothers, Virapanna and Viranna, governors of Penukonda. This is one of the few monuments of the period not to have suffered disfiguring additions, or have lost their original carvings and ceiling paintings. Its architecture, sculptures and paintings showcase the finest achievements in southern India during the first half of the sixteenth century. Particularly important are the paintings, considering that all other evidences of Vijayanagara painting in southern India have disappeared, or have deteriorated so severely as to be almost unrecognisable.

The Speaker

Professor Anna L. Dallapiccola has a PhD in Indian Art History, from the University of Heidelberg, Germany.  Formerly Professor of Indian Art at the South Asia Institute of Heidelberg University, she was appointed Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University in 1991, and has regularly lectured at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. From 2000 to 2004 she was Visiting Professor at De Montfort University Leicester. She participated in the Vijayanagara Research Project from 1984 to 2001 writing mainly on sculpture and iconography. At present, she works in India, with Dr Anila Verghese, on a research project concerning the development of the sacred sites during the Vijayanagara and Nayaka periods.

Among her publications are: Catalogue of South Indian Paintings in the collection of the British Museum (2010); Kalamkari Temple Hangings (2015); Indian Reverse Glass Paintings (2017); Thanjavur Gilded Gods, co-authored with Kuldip Singh and R.G. Singh (2018) and Lepakshi, Architecture, Sculpture, Painting (2019) co-authored with G. Michell and B. Majlis-Khan.


15.00 – 15.30  Registration

15.30 – 15.40  Welcome & Introduction by Anna Slaczka, Curator of South-Asian art at the Rijksmuseum

15.40 – 16.30  Lecture by Prof. Anna L. Dallapiccola

16.30 – 17.00  Q&A, guided by Anna Slaczka

17.00 – 17.30  Coffee/tea


You are warmly invited to join this public lecture in the Rijksmuseum on 7 October 2022. Admission is free, but registration via this web page is required. Please use the web form on the right-hand side of this page.


Professor Dallapiccola will also conduct the IIAS/Leiden University Masterclass for students on 6 October 2022, Seventeenth century depictions of sacred sites in the Kailasanathar Temple at Nattam, Tamil Nadu