On a throne of cut-glass lotus petals kneels Lord Hanuman. The right knee grazes the surface of the throne, the left foot set against the same. Against the knee jutting out laterally rests His goad, the weapon that is indispensable to the cebine iconography of Lord Hanuman. Like the jewels on the body of the warrior deity, His weapon is engraved and studded with pearls and rubies. A red and blue dhoti conceals His sturdy hips and a green teal angavastram cascades down His broad shoulders. A gold crown sets off the deep black of His ample mane.
Lord Hanuman is a bhakta (devotee) of the highest order. The Ramayana narrates how indispensable He was to Lord Rama in His rescue of Devi Seeta. The brightest shining jewel in the necklace of Ramayana characters, He acted consistently from a place of unconditional love and divine wisdom in execution of the same. As such, a popular element of Hanuman iconography is to depict Him with an image of Rama-Seeta thoroughly annealed into His breast.
A vibrant colour palette characterises this pattachitra, a folk art form from Orissa that comprises pictures (‘chitra’) executed on handmade fabric-based canvases called ‘patta’. The mustard gold complexion of the body of Hanuman, the floors of sapphire beneath His throne, and the emerald-coloured vines that frame the composition. A gaze as powerful as it is intelligent adds life to the eyes of Hanuman.
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