Lot 23
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Mid 19th Century

Paithan, Maharashtra

Size: 12 x 16.5 in (30.5 x 41.9 cm)

This brightly painted folk paper painting is part of a continuous painted theme, and would have been part of a set used by 'Chitrakathis'. The Chitrakathis were gypsies who wandered from village to village as traditional storytellers. Their audience mainly consisted of children. The stories were episodes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. One person would hold up a page while another would narrate the story to the audience. As the crowds were large and seated at a distance, the figures were painted in a large size so that the viewers could manage to see from far. Colours used were bright so as to attract children.

It is important to understand that the artists who painted these folios had talented hands. This is evident from the smooth and fine outlining that is done. The rest of the finishing and colours were selected with the objective of entertaining the audience.

The theme of this particular example is Sita being forced to marry Ravana. The blue-skinned, ten-headed figure with twenty arms is king Ravana of Lanka. He is seen holding swords, knives and daggers of all size and shape. He has a terrifying look on his face. Ravana wears gold necklaces and gold bracelets. He wears a red dhoti with a green fabric around his waist. Sita has a terrified look on her face and raises her hands above her head in fear, as Meghanada, the son of Ravana, is all set to attack her from the other side. Sita wears a blue blouse and red sari. She is bejeweled. Meghanada, also blue-skinned, has long flowing hair. He holds a bow in his left hand and a long sword in his raised right hand. The artist has painted the figures with a voluptuous sense of colour.

Paintings such as this one would have served the same purpose as cartoons and animation in today's world.

Other similar works in: this auction  |  entire site

  Lot 23 of 55  

25-26 APRIL 2012

$2,000 - 3,000


Published dimensions of this Lot are those of the full paper size and not the visible size of this Lot


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