IS there any thing called Abstract Art? often we have heard of Abstract Mathematics? Abstraction? what is abstraction? In Art too i find there is lot of confusion.
When some one talks about Yantra or tantric paintings then they laugh and try to ridicule it saying all these are superstitious, blind faith, hindu paintings. following are few such images. However, these yantra images are based on centuries old science-Jyotish, or so to say Astrology.
Now see few of modern day paintings. Painters claim they are the most creative painters.
following two are inspired by Mural painting s of Kerala.
Each of above must have a story behind them, and only creator or painter can tell all those things whatever was in his mind at that time. I am also trying to interpret few of these in my words. on Twitter
now following is a Madhubani painting, this also has many symbols. but way of drawing is done by women, who have never attended any Art School. This Art as a tradition has passed down from one generation to another.
Often i have seen on many occasions, women of house draw or paint many such ritualistic paintings. I mean as a ritual they are painted and without these that pooja cannot be performed. On sevreal ocassions a story-legend is attached to such day of celebration. Karva Chauth, Har Chath and many more. It is sad that in India which has vast diversity of rituals traditions etc, we dont have a large database or documentation of folklores. ALongwith them all such rituals and paintings will also have to be documented. Few of our traditional arts have come to limelight, but many are vanishing. Those which have come to limelight got place in Dilli Haat, Surajkund mela, emporiums, and duplicate versions adorn large walls of either homes or galleries or govt buildings. Not much benefit to the original artists.
This is warli painting done in villages of Maharashtra, bordering Gujarat, Rajasthan? It is said to be tribal art. but i hate using this word. Villagers i use. they paint walls using natural materials, rice paste, mud or Goru(color). that we find in our villages and it is mixed with Mud or cow dung to paint the Mud walls.
there are many surrealistic painters, few say they paint realism. But I love the work of respected Smt Anjoli Ela Menon ji. She has been multi medium artist, in times when such word never existed. When i did an appreciation course at NGMA New Delhi, there were few of her work. Later i read and saw many of her work-in news! yes. She had painted suitcase, chairs Doors etc.
So it i snot good idea to praise painters of modern times. As you see there are many such things exists around us that we fail to appreciate. We need to be more observant.
During Childhood i used to watch our elders performing Pooja. There were few dedicated places in homes. In some houses there used to be a room called as pooja room. In others only a section of room or almirah are designated as pooja corners. On the walls many beautifull calendars were hanging, depicting Lord Shiva, Parwati, Shri Ram and Sita. Other were of Ganga Avataran, Saraswati etc. Sache Darbar ki jai echoed few times. there was this calendar depicting Shri Ram Sita, Laxman, Hanuman etc full of many men in Ayodhya, Darbar of Raja Ram. That was in 1970s. But as i am living in 2018 with social media all around me, strangely i am turning my head all around to see if i can find any of those beautifull calenders? Sadly i have none of those pictures. Since almost all of those calendars were on paper, they degraded/ torn and later were immersed in flowing rivers. Now a days in age of science and social media we have lost such heritage of Art.
Usually, we had this pooja called Satyanarayan ki Katha. That time this picture(above) was placed on a small table decorated with plantain leaves, and table top is decorated with flowers, grains-Rice, a pot filled with water, and covered by Mango leaves. A purohit or pandit ji would come and start a never ending katha(story). that time it was never ending as felt by a child? But eventually it would end and we get to eat fruits, Panjeeri etc. But in between eyes would b full of tears from the smoke coming out from fire of Yajna (Yagya)
there was time when mythology inspired the Art of painting. Many miniature paintings were mostly inspired by Mythology. miniature paintings were not for common man during medieval times. It was an art for rich, kings and nobles or businessmen. In Bengal School of Arts few artists painted miniature inspired painting. They had local subjects and craft is from Folk traditions. NandLal Bose, Jamini Ray there were few from Tagore Family too. That famous BharatMata was also inspired from mythological depiction.
Paintings of Raja Ravi Verma were inspired from mythology too, but the Technic of Oil paintings was European.
This painting(above), I think is of Raja Ravi Verma style. Though Painting is beautifull but the subject is very saddening. The sage shown here is disowning the girl child born only due to him. As a rishi he was supposed to do Tapasya(learning with hardships) but he lost control and had an sexual alliance with this apsara Menaka. This unsafe sexual act bore a child. that might or must have been accepted by both parents. unfortunately she was orphaned. Later renamed as Shakuntala. That rishi(sage) was solely responsible for birth of that girl child. I dont know whether God punished him or not? Why the women (apsara here) is blamed for such acts? The Man-this rishi could have also controlled himself?
Two versions of Same theme-Shiv Parvati
This above is a beautifully framed picture of Shri Ram Durbar or panchayat as mentioned in that photo. Earlier such photo frames were common features in our homes, hanging in tilted form from a nail in walls.
Later when i saw a fat old magazine(Kalyan) kept in the almirah in the pooja room, i was surprised to see many such beautifull paintings on our Indian traditions.
This depicts the sthapna of Lord Shiva by Shri Ram when he reached the shore of Sea, and thus was named as Rameshwaram. Lord of Ram!!
Interestingly Both respected each other.
Varaha Avatar saved Veda from drowning and handed over to Rishi-Sages.
Kalyan was good magazine, anyone who comment or criticize it, must think as in absence of any form of mass media or social media-even Radio-TV such efforts were taken up by few enthusiastic people to create awareness and educate people on various issues. Not just religion. Religion is different from Dharma, It taught various things even on women hygiene, Morality in society, how to behave in a society and as per your dharma-often overlapping with the meaning of Kartavya-Duty?
Museums have now become multi utility spaces? Museum now hold Talks, Debates, Movies, Documentary screening, Study tours, Walk through History, Researches, Cataloging, Publications, Archaeological important material, Anthropological research, Exhibitions, much more. I think list is still not complete? So vast is the scope of museums now a days in world? As National Museum started a course for students, i am sure other museums must be doing same.
Earlier when museums were thought it was just as an art gallery for exhibiting, preserving few historical things, mostly excavated or collected paintings, sculptures etc.
Only few people used to visit such places, exhibiting Egyptian mummy, animal specimens.
I had visited few: Lucknow Zoo, there was a small structure housing few Egyptian mummy and few of old vintage portraits. Then i saw Salar Jung Museum on my visit to Hyderabad in 1977 when my father took us on LTC. It is one of the largest museums in the world. largest one-man collection of antiques in the world. one cannot completely see and be satisfied by one day visit. One clock was famous there, at hour clock rang bell. A horse parade sort of thing happens in clock, with lot of other mysterious things. So everyone inside the museum kept an eye on their clock so that at the decided time they rush to see the clock.
Another striking Big sculpture i saw in white marble, in front it had a woman and at back side of a man. To show this huge mirrors were kept behind that statue.
I saw Mysore palace also it had a beautifull gallery of paintings of Raja Ravi Verma (Ravan Jatau yudh and Lady with the lamp) and few other artifacts. In Mumbai I saw the Prince of Wales Museum (now it is renamed as chatrapati shivaji museum https://www.csmvs.in ) there i saw a gallery named as museum of natural history? most striking was the King Cobra, i shivered while standing in front of it. It’s hood stood upto few feet above and seemed that it will just strike. So i shifted little bit from its front. Then there was Jehangir Art Gallery on same road, i think? Aquarium of Mumbai was also an attraction.
Actually that day I walked from Gateway of India to masjid bander(?) I don’t know for how long i walked. On the way I saw Prince of Wales Museum, Jehangir Art Gallery, VT Station on my right side. I passed by it, but i could not notice that there is a big railway station inside that building? on the way there was National Gallery of Modern Art? (i thought only one NGMA existed in India, as one is in New Delhi, near India Gate? i did one Art appreciation course at NGMA New Delhi in 1994-95. Then later in life I visited National Museum at New Delhi it is a life time opportunity to see this museum. It houses treasures of our Indian Heritage. I also got chance to visit Bhopal. I took a trip to see the Shiv Temple at Bhojpal? later i visited Indira Gandhi rashtriya manav sangrahalaya इन्दिरा गांधी राष्ट्रीय मानव संग्रहालय . This is an open air museum housing types of houses, other things used by tribal community. spread over a large portion of land, one really needs strength to walk around.. In Bhopal Bharat Bhawan is also there i saw many paintings of renowned painters. Works of Mrinalini MUKHERJI ji. I have had heard names of BB Karanth? Vibha Mishra?
While studying i could know about few other places such as a library at #Rampur Raza library started by Nawabs of Rampur. Famous for music traditions, i heard, it had lots of manuscripts of musical importance. Then there was one Khuda Bux library of Patna?
One of the dream place that i wish to visit is Saraswathi Mahal of Tanjore. it is said to house big treasure and truly named as Saraswati, in name of Goddess of learning. On looking at the treasure in National museum Nwd Delhi I could guess about the treasure, the saraswati mahal could be having. So beautifull Tanjore paintings were there in Delhi.
On Doordarshan, i got to know about Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum. He talked about how he collected many specimens of historical importance, most important was Mastani Mahal, That was built by Pehswa Baji Rao for Mastani ji. Kelkar museum has the portion of that mastani mahal.
I also read somewhere that when Prince Albert had to visit India then in Jaipur a building was named as Albert hall jaipur
following are some of the Gems of Sculpture, Art Architecture etc from India. just scroll down. See and appreciate great Art of India, and largely kept preserved due to Museums, Gallery and pvt collections. Many of such diamonds of our Art had been looted outside of India.