The golden-hued Lakshmi is seated on a gigantic lotus bloom. Its pale, roseate - almost white - petals contrast sharply with the glittering gold of Her saree. It is executed with pure gold layered on dense gessowork, the hallmark of the authentic Tanjore painting. The same goes for the tall crown that tapers above Her head as well as the thick edges of Her high-backed throne.
The Tanjore idiom of the visual arts is best suited for Devi Lakshmi, the presiding deity over plenitude and resources, including wealth. The solid gold of Her saree is colour-blocked by miniscule, closely spaced stones in the cherry red hue of rubies. In fact, red is the third-most dominant colour of the palette, preceded by gold and white.
This goddess Lakshmi Tanjore painting features a pair of pristine elephants (‘gaja’ is Sanskrt for elephant, which explains the epithet Gajalakshmi) raising their trunks in homage to Her. In fact, with the lotuses in Her fair hands and the elephants and the sumptuousness of Her attire, the Lakshmi iconography could not get more apt than in this Thanjavur painting.
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