The beauty and plenitude of Lakshmi Devi, captured in the Tanjore idiom. She is Hinduism’s presiding deity over wealth and resources, and is the cherished wife of Lord Vishnu. Clad in a saree of flowing, emerald-coloured silk, the chaturbhujadharini sits flanked by elephants who raise their trunks in homage to Her.
This Lakshmi Mata roopa (form) is known as Gajalakshmi (‘gaja’ is the Sanskrt word for elephant). A gigantic lotus bloom is Her throne. It floats about on deep blue waters of the Himalayas. Before Her is a golden bowlful of solid gold pieces, cascading from the palm of Her anterior right hand raised in generous blessing over Her devotees.
Pure gold leaf embellishments across the canvas, the hallmark of Thanjavur art. Zoom in on the high-precision gessowork along the hems of Goddess Lakshmi’s saree, the necklaces on Her torso and the crown on Her neck, as well as the girdle at Her small waist. The same goes for the pillars rising on either side of Her and the bejewelled bowl of gold at Her feet.
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