Ritikavya is court poetry that celebrates the romantic love of Krishna of the Bhagavata, but fluidly moves between religious devotion and urbane romanticism, between riti and bhakti and between the court and the haveli. The ritikal poets rendered their beautiful compositions that heralded a new phase of shringara poetry and paintings. One of the foremost ritikal poets was Matiram whose Rasraj was an inspiration to countless artists. With well-sculpted words and lyrical rhythms, Matiram presents a rarefied world of the nayak and nayika, their amorous exchanges, the sensuality of loving glances, the charged moments of romantic feelings, the heartthrob of belonging and the fulfilment of desire. The emotionally charged world of shringara rasa of Matiram, has been brought alive in the paintings of Purkhu and his school of painting, under the patronage of King Sansar Chand of Kangra.
This volume explores the beautiful ritikavya compositions, particularly those of Matiram, and their visual rendering in the paintings of Purkhu and his school of paintings. It discusses the poetics of ritikavya and evolution of the Purkhu school and Kangra paintings. It presents the text of Matirams Rasraj dohas in Braj and gives their meaning in English. Numerous paintings, a visual treat for the readers, are here to show how Matirams lyrics and magery have been seamlessly sculpted into visual poetry.
The volume will interest scholars and art connoisseurs of traditional Indian poetry and schools of painting.
Harsha V. Dehejia
Harsha V. Dehejia was born in Mumbai and has a double doctorate from Mumbai University, one in Medicine
and the other in Ancient Indian Culture. He is also a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Glasgow and Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, all by examination. He divides his time between Mumbai and Ottawa, Canada. In Canada he is a practising physician and Professor of Indian Studies at Carleton University. Among his many publications are Advaita of Art, Parvatidarpana, Despair and Modernity, Leaves of the Pipal Tree and Gods Beyond Temples (all by Motilal Banarsidass). Parvati, Goddess of Love; The Flute and the Lotus, Romantic Moments in Poetry and Painting; Celebrating Krishna, Sacred Words, Sensuous Images (all by Mapin). A Celebration of Love, The Romantic Heroine in Indian Art; A Festival of Krishna; Krishnas Forgotten Poets (all by Roli). Mumbai Footpaths, Paths of Courage, Journeys of Hope (Vira). A Pahari Romance, The Love Story of Usha Aniruddha (D.K. Printworld).
Vijay Sharma, a 1990 recipient of the National Award of master craftsman in Basohli painting, works as an artist in the Bhuri Singh Museum, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh. He has travelled extensively in India and abroad, giving lecture-demonstrations on the techniques of Pahari painting and has studied major collections of Indian paintings across the world. He has written several research articles and books on Pahari miniature painting. He paints in various styles of Indian painting, b chiefly Basohli and Kangra Schools of Pahari painting.
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