Item Code: PN65
Kalamkari Painting on Cotton
93 inch X 43.0 inch
Price: $295.00 Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
Having listened to him patiently Krishna tells the misled Arjuna that he is neither the cause of anyone’s death nor of life; it is his mere ego that makes him feel that he shall kill one or let the other live. He tells that what delude him as kin and others are mere forms : the bodies, that a ‘self’ takes. The ‘self’ alone is timeless and beyond tenure. The body is subject to decay and when worn out the ‘self’ leaves it and takes to another, the same as the body changes a piece of ensemble. He tells Arjuna that a man can and should do what his ‘dharma’ : obligation as the born one, ordains him to do for that alone is in his power and is his obligation; the result of his act is beyond his control and power. Hence, Krishna tell Arjuna that those who act without a desire for gain, victory or happiness or without the fear of loss, defeat or pain : act detachedly without indulging into it, are beyond all sins. He tells Arjuna that, a Kshatriya, to fight a battle is his obligation by his very birth and hence he should get ready for raising arms.
Krishna delivering Gita sermon is a widely represented theme in paintings, sculptures, textiles and metal-casts and in almost all major art styles, though it has widely different versions in north and south, as also in one art medium and other. For representing it metal-casts use an isolated multi-horsed, usually four horses-driven, chariot, Krishna with his backwards turned face, as if conversing with Arjuna, holding the reins. Except that a few subdued figures flank it the main city gate at Kurukshetra in Haryana has an identical masonry relief. Calendar art prefers inclusion of a piece of text : a few verses, with similar boldly produced images. Such bold isolated images are also the subject-matter of several miniatures from north and south, from Andhra, or rather Mysore, in particular, though the Pahari painters are often seen placing such imagery in the midst of a wide landscape with warring forces arrayed on two sides. Iconography of various figures, their body colours, style of structuring chariot and subordinate imagery in south Indian paintings are widely different from those in paintings from the north.
A large sheet of fine white cotton, a true masterpiece rendered using a wide range of colours in their brighter tones, deep maroon, blue, black, pink and green in particular, is one of the most brilliant and outstanding examples of Kalamakari representing the South Indian mode of representing the theme. It makes a subtle departure even from the usual Mysore miniatures that portray Krishna with his face turned towards Arjuna. Chariots in a Mysore miniature is a shrine’ like designed with a central chamber for Arjuna, a smaller one towards driving seat, for Krishna, and another, on the rear side, for extra arms and equipments, all three conceived with Dravidian style barrel-towers over them. It has the figure of Hanuman on the main flag. In its structure of the chariot-chamber : a chamber for Arjuna and a projecting half umbrella for Krishna, the chariot in this Kalamakari is more like those rendered in contemporary calendar paintings. The main flag, posted on the half umbrella’s projecting point has an icon of flying Hanuman on it but four other flags, revealing rare beauty and forms, are attached to the horses’ headgears, four being in number. More characteristically, the Kalamakari has, flanking the central part containing the main theme, on either side a ‘vedika’, that on the front enshrining Garuda, the mount of Lord Vishnu, whom Krishna incarnates, and that on the rear side being enshrined by Hanuman, Vishnu’s great devotee in Vishnu’s incarnation as Rama.
This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.