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Mysore Painting
20th Century


36.5 x 27 in (91.25 x 67.5 cm)

Mysore painting is an important form of classical South Indian painting that originated in the royal state of Mysore. These paintings are known for their elegance, light and sober colours, and attention to detail. Hindu deities have generally been the main subjects of Mysore paintings, as also scenes from Hindu mythology. Finely done Mysore paintings are rare and highly sought after.

The process of making a Mysore painting involves many stages. First, drawing the preliminary sketch of the image on the base, which consists of cartridge paper pasted on a wooden sheet. Gold paint is then profusely applied on certain areas, and the rest of the work is finally filled with colour.

This large and exquisite Mysore painting depicts Rama, the seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu, seated on his regal throne with his consort Sita. They are accompanied by Rama's brother Lakshmana and his ardent devotee the mighty Hanuman. Rama is shown seated in a relaxed posture, with his right arm resting on his knee. His vestments are all gold, bordered with fine work. Rama and Sita are wearing crowns and heavy jewellery of the type worn by Gods and Goddesses. Hanuman is bare-chested and wears a short, tight lower garment. His expression and features are noteworthy. Lakshmana is crowned too, however most of his body is behind the throne. His face is beaming with a suppressed pleasure. The throne is ornate with a lot of gold work. One needs to observe this painting closely to notice the fine details and designs.

The excellent colour tone, expressions and composition, and the large scale of this work coupled with its high quality make it an important painting.

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