Museum Rietberg
Aus dem Milchmeer entstand die Welt
(The Churning of the Ocean of Milk)
8 Tales from the Realm of the Indian Gods and Goddesses

Retold by Caroline Widmer and Penelope Tunstall
Reproductions of miniature paintings from the Museum Rietberg Zürich
© Baobab Books, 2018
Original edition
40 pages, hardcover, half-linen, 23 x 26,5 cm
ISBN 978-3-905804-84-3
CHF 25.00 / € (D) 19,00 / € (A) 19,60
ages 9 and up

An introduction to the magical world of the Hindi mythology: These 8 tales shine a light on mighty Creator god Brahma, three-eyed Shiva, the witty Ganesha with his elephant head who is rather smart than fast, and many more. Sometimes divine, sometimes surprisingly worldly, we hear about wonders, betrayal, quarrel and love – and start to grasp the complexity of the family ties of the deities.
Each story is complemented by a colourful Indian miniature painting from the collection of the Rietberg Museum in Zurich, which are rarely on display.  Miniature painting is an art which was celebrated at the local royal courts in India, with a peak between the 17th and early 19th century.
They were all painted on paper no larger than today’s standard format A4. The artists produced their own colours, which traditionally were pigments based on semi-precious stones, plants or organic substances. The material was first ground into an extremely fine powder to which acacia gum and water was added. They used paint brushes to apply the colours. According to legends the finest brush the artists worked with was made of one single hair of a squirrel!

This book is a collaboration with the Museum Rietberg in Zurich.

Foreign Rights available:


Foreign Rights Catalogue

The Authors


Caroline Widmer (*1981) was born in Lausanne. She completed her Religious and South Asian studies with a PHD on Buddhist tales. She works as an Art Educator as well as Curator for Indian Paintings in the Museum Rietberg in Zurich.


Penelope Tunstall (*1970) grew up in South Africa, Switzerland and Hongkong. She studied East Asian Art History and Sinology at Zurich University. Since 2001 she has worked as a freelance Art Educator for the Museum Rietberg in Zurich. More than anything she loves to collect and tell stories from all around the globe.