Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 4:10 AM
Mysore is the second largest city in the state of Karnataka, India. Mysore established a unique and distinctive form of painting in the 17th and 18th centuries. Mysore Painting is a form of classical South Indian painting, which evolved in the Mysore city of Karnataka. During that time, Mysore was under the reign of the Wodeyars and it was under their patronage that this art from reached its zenith. It was under the rule of Raja Krishna Raja Wodeyar (1578-1617 AD) that the reputation of the Mysore painting reached its highest point. He was well known for his considerable involvement to patronize art and encourage artists. Quite similar to the Tanjore Paintings, Mysore Paintings of India make use of thinner gold leaves and require much more hard work. The most popular themes of these paintings are Hindu Gods and Goddesses and scenes from Hindu epics such as the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Geeta and the Ramayana.
The most notable and famous among the Mysore paintings is the depiction of the Lord Shrinath, who is supposed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Another very popular and common theme is Lord Ganesha sitting on his throne. The grace, beauty and intricacy of Indian Mysore paintings leave the observers mesmerized. These paintings are popular for their elegance, peculiar usage of colors and the stress on detailing. The beautiful paintings of Mysore such as Goddess Saraswati playing lute (Veena), Goddess Lakshmi bestowing an abundance of wealth on her devotees, child Krishna etc. really catch the attention of the spectators.
Mysore paintings are the emblems of beauty. Bangalore, Narasipura, Tumkur, Sravanabelagola and Nanjangud are the centers of Mysore paintings. In modern times, these paintings have become a much sought after souvenir during festive occasions in South India. Stylish demarcation of the images, frail lines, and convoluted brush strokes are some the characteristics of Mysore paintings. In the traditional Mysore paintings, the artists used vegetable and mineral colors made out of pigments of leaves and flowers of various plants and minerals. The sketches were made with the help of charcoal, which was prepared by burning tamarind twigs in an iron tube. The brushes were made of different materials, like squirrel hair, camel hair, goat hair etc. Today the painting is done with commercially available media like poster and water colors. In the ancient times, paper, wood, wall and cloth formed the base of the paintings. In modern times it is done mostly on paper pasted on to a board with glue or some other adhesive medium.
The process of making a Mysore painting involves many stages. The first step requires the artist to make a preliminary sketch of the image on the base, which comprises of a cartridge paper pasted on a wooden base. Thereafter, a paste of zinc oxide and Arabic gum, known as 'gesso paste' is made. This paste is used to give a slightly raised effect of carving to those parts of the painting that require embellishments and is allowed to dry. Thin gold foils are then pasted on the surface. The rest of the painting is prepared with the help of watercolors. Only muted colors are used. After the painting is fully dried, it is covered with a thin paper and rubbed lightly with a smooth soft stone.All paintings are courtesy of Art of legend India.