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Ganesha - the Elephant Headed God, Art and Mythology
Published in October 2000
What is the symbolism of Ganesha's elephant head? Why does Ganesha ride on a mouse? What is the spiritual significance of Lord Ganesha? How was Ganesha especially devoted towards his mother Parvati? What are the different symbols Ganesha holds in his hands? These are some of the questions this article answers.
Mandala – Sacred Geometry in Buddhist Art | Exotic India
Published in September 2000
The word mandala itself is derived from the root manda, which means essence, to which the suffix la, meaning container, has been added. Thus, one obvious connotation of mandala is that it is a container of essence…
Mother Goddess as Kali - The Feminine Force in Indian Art
Published in August 2000
Kali's fierce appearances have been the subject of extensive descriptions in several earlier and modern works. Though her fierce form is filled with awe- inspiring symbols, their real meaning is not what it first appears…
Love and Passion in Tantric Buddhist Art
Published in July 2000
...The word Tantra itself is derived from the verbal root tan, meaning to 'weave'...Often the mother is shown in a posture with both legs around the father's waist...refer to the union of a lotus and vajra...
Birds and Animals in Indian Art - The Mughal Artist as a Naturalist
Published in June 2000
Jahangir the fourth Mughal emperor (r. 1605-27), was a lover of beauty, be it that of an artifact created by human hands or that observed in nature, the work of god. His memoirs, commonly known as Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri or, Jahangirnama, are as much an album of his aesthetic experiences as a chronicle of his reign. With his keen sensibility, these experiences were a permanent source of joy for him. Nature and beauty were preserved through the brush of his artists.
The Life of Buddha in Legend and Art
Published in May 2000
...The young prince Gautama Siddhartha was born into the ancient Sakya clan...he learned in a few days the sciences suitable to his race...Intrigued by his first encounter with old age...Four weeks after he began meditating under the Bodhi tree...on the night of a full moon, Sakyamuni attained enlightenment…
Krishna the Divine Lover in Indian Art
Published in April 2000
...Krishna was physically irresistibly appealing... In the embrace of Krishna, the gopis, maddened with desire, found refuge...Often the colorful legends surrounding his amorous adventures with female friends prove to be of supreme inspiration to artists…
Sacred Buddhist Painting - The Tibetan Thangka
Published in March 2000
A Thangka is a painted or embroidered banner which was hung in a monastery or a family altar and carried by lamas in ceremonial processions. In Tibetan the word 'than' means flat and the suffix 'ka' stands for painting. The Thangka is thus a kind of painting done on flat surface but which can be rolled up when not required for display.
Technique of Batik Art
Published in February 2000
The technique of batik is a demanding one. In general, the final design must be conceived before the picture is begun. The batik artist works intimately with color; if he wishes parts of his design to be light yellow, for example, all these parts must be waxed at the same time before any subsequent dyeing. He cannot isolate one part of his design and complete it before moving on to the others as an artist in oils or watercolor may; he must create his design in stages, each of which encompasses the whole picture.
Technique of Pata Chitra
Published in January 2000
Pata is a Sanskrit derivation which literally means canvas so pata-painting means a scroll painting on canvas. The art of Pata Painting (or pata chitra) is practiced by the artists of Orissa, a state on the Eastern Coast of India. The painter first chooses two pieces (generally tussar silk) of cloth and he sticks the pieces together by means of a paste prepared from tamarind seeds. They are then dried in the sun.
An Introduction to Madhubani Paintings
Published in December 1999
Hindu women who live in villages near the market town of Madhubani in northern India maintain old traditions and teach them to their daughters. Painting is one of the traditional skills that is passed down from generation to generation in the families of some of the women. They paint figures from nature and myth on household and village walls to mark the seasonal festivals of the religious year, for special events of the life-cycle, and when marriages are being arranged they prepare intricately designed wedding proposals.
The Use of Colors in the Rajput School of Miniature Paintings
Published in November 1999
The Rajput painter had inherited a legacy of mural painting as well as the art of the book. He devised a pictorial scheme with colour as a principal means of visual articulation. Conspicuously he retained the colour of complexions, costumes and architecture as local, while playing up the tenor of the natural environment in low or high key, or changing them altogether from their normal hues.
Mughal School of Art
Published in October 1999
In Indian art generally, possibly because of its predominantly religious character, the symbolic level is always the more important. The depicted surface-reality always very strongly implies some general statement. For instance, the animals and plants of the Buddhist frescoes are not just animals and plants but symbols of the whole of creation, a statement that it is animated, that it feels and suffers.
Tanjore Paintings
Published in September 1999
Tanjore derives its name from the capital of Chola empire, Thanjavoor. This place has one of the beautiful temple of Lord Shiva-Brigadeeswara temple. This art form was developed with the patronage of the Maratha rulers in the 18th century.This type of art which is famous for its ornamental relief work flourished with the patronage of the kings. The process of making a Tanjore painting requires dedicated skilled labour. There are many stages during the making of this painting.
Technique of Indian Miniature Paintings
Published in August 1999
The themes of the miniature are generally inspired by paintings commissioned centuries ago by Indian Emperors. Initially, the sketch is prepared by the artist on a smooth surface of a paper in light blue or reddish-brown ink. This primary sketch is drawn in soft lines suggesting only the outlines of the figures. These are later corrected and bold, accurate, hard lines are drawn. A thin coat of white pigment is applied to obliterate the incorrect lines.
Method of Preparing Colors by Miniature Painting Artists
Published in July 1999
At first the available colors are ground on a stone slab (by rubbing or grounding) to bring them in a powder form. Some artists use mortar and pestle of a very hard quality stone. Then that color is dissolved in water along with some gum and then filtered. The filtration process is continued till the color becomes totally earth or sand free. Thereafter water is removed and the color is dried and kept in form of balls. When required, the desired color along with some dry gum is dissolved slowly in water with the help of finger or thumb.'
Preparation of Brushes by Miniature Painting Artists
Published in June 1999
In Sanskrit the word Tulika is used for brushes. The artists in their ordinary language call it Kalam. It is worthwhile noting here that the different styles of paintings are also called as Kalam, viz. - Bundi Kalam, Kangra Kalam, Shah Kalam, etc. Kalams of different thicknesses are chiefly prepared for different types of works and from different types of bristles. The thick or medium size Kalam is required to fill colors in the painting.
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