Saturday, April 20, 2013

Magnificent Indian miniature paintings on offer

India’s leading online auction house, Saffronart, will be hosting an auction of Indian miniature paintings. Among the works on offer are some that exude a sense of ardent devotion. An opaque watercolor work heightened further with gold on paper denotes how devotional Hindu themes were very popular at Kishangarh’s Rajasthani School. Another opaque watercolor on paper depicts Lord Rama, Sita, and Lakshman being worshiped apparently by a Sikh ruler    
One of the miniatures depicts Sita escorted by Lakshmana to visit Rama. Although Kishangarh was founded early in the seventeenth century, there is little evidence of paintings from there until the eighteenth century when artists painted miniatures of courtly love, with depictions of Radha and Krishna being particularly popular. Artists were often commissioned to paint portraits of the ruler and his mistress dressed as Radha and Krishna, a custom that continued after his reign.

Another ones shows a Sikh nobleman and his companion followed by attendants paying homage at the forest adobe of Lord Rama and Sita. Two devotees prostrate before Lord Rama with Sita at his side. Lakshman is standing behind them holding a morchal, a whisk made of peacock feathers. Further, to his left side, a Sadhu or holy man is seated in adoration of the Lord.

Mention must be made of an elaborately detailed work that represents Krishna and a consort seated in discussion in a pavilion, while maidens are illustrated in the chambers above. It’s thought to be part of the Rasikapriya composed by Keshava Das in 1591. It consists of a series of poems describing and cataloguing types of male and female lovers: nayakas and nayikas.

Sets of paintings illustrating verses from this text are found from many centers of art and a number from this particular group are known. The architecture is sumptuous and the decoration of the room elegant. The large floral forms in the foreground at the right add a bold decorative touch.
The auction of Indian Miniature Paintings will take place online starting April 24, 2013.

(Information courtesy: Saffronart)

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