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Paintings > Hindu > Ganesha > Parvati with Ganesh in Her Lap
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Parvati with Ganesh in Her Lap

Parvati with Ganesh in Her Lap

Parvati with Ganesh in Her Lap

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Oil on Canvas

33.0 inches X 24.0 inches
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$405.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Viewed 22161 times since 1st Sep, 2010
This canvas, a brilliant oil painting, portrays the young mother Parvati with child Ganesh, her younger and loving son, in her lap. She has been painted as seated against a huge bolster on a large lotus laid on a rectangular golden bed which has above it, supported on four gems-studded poles rising from its four corners, a richly inlaid velvet canopy conceived like an arched pavilion highly popular in medieval Indian architecture, more so in Rajasthani palaces. Under one of her feet there is a foot-raise consisting of a multi-petalled lotus. The bed has been laid on an open terrace overlaid with a splendid carpet with floral designing patterns covering it in entirety. The terrace that overlooks a wide-stretched garden consisting mainly of green plants, plantain in special, has been defined by an elegant marble railing comprising delicately carved trellises. In the background is a greenish-grey, slightly red-tinted evening sky, and birds are heading nest-wards; so back into her lap is Parvati’s child after daylong toil.

Though strictly adhering to the classical norms of his divine iconography, for representing the age-perspective of the child Ganesh the artist has manipulated his body-size in relation to his mother’s, his trunk – greedy of her affectionate touch, stretched to reach her breasts, his ‘laddu’-carrying extended hand as if offering them to his mother for winning her love, and his vehicle mouse transformed into a tiny toy-like play-thing – more a cat than a mouse. An essentially devotional mind, the artist has conceived the figure of Lord Ganesh, despite that his focal point was the elephant headed god’s childhood, pursuing broadly the established norms of his divine iconography, not merely in delineating his basic features and figural anatomy but also in representing his figure with some of his regular attributes, specially his axe and ‘laddu’ – balls-like sweet, and lotus, and with his usual jewels, crown-type, and wears, all defining his divine status, as also his maturity irrespective of his age. As is the theological principle, divine figures always have an alike level of maturity, hold their specific attributes and are in their pre-determined roles, right since their birth.

Exceptionally simplified figure of Parvati, an extremely happy mother, has on her face a village woman’s bliss that she has when after her daylong occupation she finds moments to have her child in her lap. Instead of her sensuous beauty, with wide-exposed breasts, largely unclad body and amour in eyes, her usual vision in classical poetry like the Kumarasambhava by the first century Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, and in ancient and medieval sculptures scattered all over, the painter of this canvas has sought to discover her ever enduring beauty and charm in her naive simplicity, naturalness and gracefully covered body. Not a created or conceived thing, or a formal being for stage, or even one endowed with divinity, the round-faced, large-eyed and long thick-haired Parvati, a coy maiden, as she appears to be in this painted version, is essentially one from the perishable human world. Parvati has behind her a huge body of metaphysics or rhetoric, and Puranic contentions that perceive her as Shiva’s ‘shakti’ – his essential spirit and life-force, or manifestation of cosmic feminine energy – the source of entire creation and cosmic womanhood; however, in this version of her, the mind inclines to worship her, to admire her beauty, the beauty of her long thick black hair, thick deep eyebrows, large eyes, and her form but all with a kind of emotionality that one has for someone around him.

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.

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