The quintessential image of the Indian mother and child: the seated Devi Parvati with Ganesha in Her lap. The wife and son of Shiva gaze straight into the distance, their eyes brimming with compassion and wisdom. The beauty and freshness of their fair faces are matched by the colourful flowers that form a low arch behind the spine of Parvati.
Parvati’s saree and Ganesha’s dhoti are made with pure gold embellishment, inlaid upon solid gesso-work. This is the characteristic feature of traditional Tanjore paintings. The twin figures are seated on a gold-petalled lotus. The same is flanked by low-stemmed lamps. Semi-precious stones of a vivid crimson colour are inlaid in both places, giving off the impression of rubies.
From the pooja-samagree (implements of ritual worship) along the foreground to the crowns on Parvati’s and Ganesha’s heads, the gold gesso-work is ubiquitous across the canvas. The solid-coloured background and the temple entrance-like structure on all four edges, complete the composition.
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