Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Sadanga of Indian painting


Around 1st century BC the Sadanga or Six Limbs of Indian Painting, were evolved, a series of canons laying down the main principles of the art. Vatsyayana, who lived during the third century A.D., enumerates these in his Kamasutra having extracted them from still more ancient works.
These 'Six Limbs' have been translated as follows:


  • Rupabheda The knowledge of appearances.
  • Pramanam Correct perception, measure and structure.
  • Bhava Action of feelings on forms.
  • Lavanya Yojanam Infusion of grace, artistic representation.
  • Sadrisyam Similitude.
  • Varnikabhanga Artistic manner of using the brush and colours. (Tagore.)
  • The subsequent development of painting by the Buddhists indicates that these ' Six Limbs ' were put into practice by Indian artists, and are the basic principles on which their art was founded.
Dimensions : 13 x 9 Inches
Miniatures are intricate, colorful illuminations or paintings, small in size, executed meticulously with delicate brushwork. The history of Indian Miniature Paintings can be traced to the 6-7th century AD. Miniature Paintings have evolved over centuries carrying the influence of other cultures. The miniature artists gave self-expression on paper, ivory panels, wooden tablets, leather, marble, cloth and walls. Indian artists employed multiple perspectives unlike their European counterparts in their paintings. The idea was to convey reality that existed beyond specific vantage point.

The Kangra Miniatures of the Pahari School made a mark in the 18th century. Though influenced by the Mughals, the Kangra School retained its distinctiveness. The paintings were naturalistic and employed cool, fresh colors. The colors were extracted from minerals, vegetables and possessed enamel-like luster. Verdant greenery of the landscape, brooks, springs were the recurrent images on the miniatures. Texts of the Gita Govinda, Bhiari's Satsai, and the Baramasa of Keshavdas provided endless themes to the painters. Krishna and Radha as eternal lovers were portrayed rejoicing the moments of love. The Kangra miniatures are also noted for portraying the famine charm with a natural grace. The paintings based on Ragmalas (musical modes) also found patronage in Kangra.

About the painting
The painting personifies Ragini Gujari, wife of Raga Dipaka mesmerizing a pair of gazelles with the music of her vina (a stringed instrument like a lute).
Ragini Gujari, a young woman is followed by a pair of gazelles, which are besotted by her beauty. The gazelles represent her lovers. This painting has adopted the phenomena prevalent in summers in the deserts of Rajasthan where the thirsty traveler often glimpses shimmering lake brimming with water but as the traveler moves towards the lake, it appear to recede. Mislead by such mirages herds of deer travel for miles till they lay down their lives. The ‘deer thirst’ also called, as ‘mriga trishna’ is symbolic of love.

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