Anup Gomay has painted a wide range of themes using as diverse styles but the late 19th century painter Raja Ravi Varma, the great master, perhaps, the greatest of the modern India and one of the main founders of the modern school of Indian painting, especially his portrait-painting, seems to have inspired Gomay most. Raja Ravi Varma rendered portraits, portrait-based compositions and mythological themes but it is in his portraits that his best and the sublimity of his art talent better reveal. Anup Gomay, too, has his talent best displayed in his portraits, more often the female, poised in some delightful attitude. Like Raja Ravi Varma his figures are bold images often covering the canvas almost in entirety, usually the men and women from the world around but the unearthliness of their beauty and rare grace revealing in their forms make them breathe some kind of mythicism as do the men and women of Raja Ravi Varma. The figures of Anup Gomay are hardly ever mythical but the situations they are set in have often the reflection of one myth or the other giving the entire painting a mythical flavour.
Oil on canvas, the most favoured medium of modern painters, the painting portrays a young damsel holding, supported on her shoulder, a pair of lotus buds. As suggest her loose hair yet not fully dried, type of ensemble – a mere blouse, and of course the lotus buds fresh as just picked from a lotus pond, the young lady seems to have just finished her bath in the lotus pond of her palace and has done a little ornamentation. There lurks into her eyes an intense passion of love, perhaps also an indecisive mind not knowing who her lover shall be. The artist has conceived his background with a beautifully and diversely moulded column painted with ethnic design-patterns. In medieval palace architecture a verandah supported on such painted columns usually surrounded an indoor bathing pool. The artist has dually used it, one for defining the pool and other for balancing the composition. He has placed the figure of the lady along this column which, besides adding ethnicity and medieval flavour to the painting, affords to her tall figure a pleasant base-line.
The young one has been painted right-inclined though her face is turned to left, as drawn by some object on that side, creating pleasant light and shade effects. This shading shows its more pleasant effect on her face, especially around the eyes, in between lower lip and chin and the neck. Shaded by her hair on her right and by her figure on her left, her otherwise pinkish body colour has been beautifully subdued and varied. The artist has so modeled her figure with her upwards turned left arm that it gives it a delightful curve and to her figure, with one of her breasts covered under it and the other projected temptingly, an enchanting magic. Her jewellery reveals the ethnicity and grandeur of medieval days, and her gold brocaded purple blouse, the grace of elite lifestyle.
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.