The deities have been painted with all the opulence of articulation that belongs to Mysore paintings. They are dressed in richly coloured silks, their gold shringar as ample as befits those of the best of us. Purushottam Rama is on a velvet pedestal, before which prostrates the great Lord Hanuman. He is flanked by that part of His family that refused to let Him go into vanvaas (literally, 'stay in the forest', referring to His exile) on His own. A couple of cherubs, with heavenly bodies behind their backs, are showering Him with sweet-smelling white flowers. Note how realistic the backdrop is - warm tropical skies and a bed of verdure. The bottom of the painting is made up of a series of South Indian saints famous for their devotion to the Lord.
This lifelike sculpture of the Devi will add to your space a strong aura of the wrathful and the invincible. Zooming in on Her limbs and face will enable you to appreciate the great skill that has gone into putting together such an effective portrayal - the lifelike musculature, the high-precision digits, and the superbly smooth skin. No wonder they call Her Kali because She is said to have conquered kal (time) itself in Her unflinching pursuit of dharm across time and space. One of Her legs is raised and positioned on the chest of Her supine husband, the Lord Shiva Himself, who succumbs to Her ferocity. What distinguish this composition from your run-of-the-mill Kali sculptures are the looming crown and the ornate double-lotus pedestal, each of which has been engraved with great skill and labour.
Artist Navneet Parikh has depicted with perfection the life and spiritual current flowing through this ghat in Haridwar. A pale twilight sky, characteristic of the plains as you go northwards into the mountains, sets off the masterful stone templetops with great beauty. Do not miss how consummate is each curve of the sculpted edges, how lifelike the light of the setting sun reflecting off the smooth stone surfaces. The two trees on either side in the background, their slim winding trunks ending in shocks of deftly stippled leaves, add balance to the composition.
It is the stream in the foreground that is the most challenging part of the painting. Complex brushstrokes in shades and tints of blue have gone into a highly realistic portrayal of the sacred Ganga waters. The couple in the foreground is making an offering to their ancestors, while the damsels nearer to the steps - their black tresses loosened - are busier having a good time than proverbially washing off their sins. A couple of maidens are simply taking a walk along the ghat, deeply absorbed in conversation. While a wealthier couple sits in consultation with the Brahman to the right of the viewer, a yogi is performing padmasana in the other end of the frame. Note how flawless is each and every detail of the figures - their limbs in motion, their garments in line with traditional Northern fashion, and the shringar of the ladies.
The Lord Vishnu is worshipped in all His iconographical beauty, which is brought out with great skill and devotion in this one-of-a-kind larger-than-life Vishnu sculpture. He stands in the fullness of His stature on a blooming lotus, clad in a silk dhoti and angavastram. He is chaturbhuja (four-armed) Vishnu: He holds the discus, the conch, and the goad with three hands, whilst raises the fourth in generous blessing. Streams of gold shringar clothe His torso, while the gold of the engraved sun constitutes His halo. From beneath the kingly crown on His head emerges a cascade of luscious locks down His back. From the overall musculature and the limbs to the features of His composed countenance, this is the most alive murti of Lord Vishnu that there is.
Ganesha is rightly named Trilakyamohana. In Sanskrit, 'trilokya' means the three realms of existence and 'mohana' means 'one who enchants'. This boy-deity's celebrated innocence, propensity to grant boons, and childlike beauty enchants the inhabitants of this world as well as the divine. His face is the very picture of invincibility and sublime patience. The trishul on His brow is meant to indicate that He is the son of none other than the cosmic destroyer, Shiva, Himself.
This watercolour would make for a cheerful addition to your space. Seated on a slightly overgrown tree-stump, He would bless your sanctum with His divine gaze. Right afore the thick brushstrokes of the stump, upon the pale pastel green of the grass, is His vahana, the mouse, with an offering of laddoo in its paws. The shadow of the darkening twilight settles upon the luxuriant foliage in the background, while the resplendence of Ganesha's form pours forth from the painting.
Each of the finish variations this sculpture comes in does great justice to Her beauteous roopa. Her stature is overwhelming, Her musculature that of a yogini. She is clad in a silken dhoti that clings to Her body below the navel, while the rest of Her is bedecked with shringar fit for a devi. A crown as slender and towering as She is sits on Her brow, from the rim of which emerges a cascade of tresses all the way down Her shoulders. Her composure of countenance is compassionate and highly self-assured. The rim of a halo frames Her crown, while layers of lotus petals constitute the pedestal She is standing on.
Tanjore paintings are a blend of art and craft. Having flourished under the patronage of the art-loving Chola dynasty rulers, they are the most beauteous of Indian paintings. Zoom in on each aspect of the painting to appreciate its opulence. Gorgeous colours such as the red of the temple's inner precinct, the inky blue of the dusk of the background, and the numerous flowers and jewels on the Devi's person and Her temple. She is flanked by two birds that have retracted their feathers for the day and are looking up to Her. Offerings of food and flowers are laid at Her feet. This painting would add to the aesthetics and piety of your space.
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