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Indian Painting - Hindola Raga

Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 11:17 PM
Hindola Raga,RagmalaHindola Raga

An inscription in the upper yellow panel of this painting identities it as Hindola Raga and states that it is the third (raga in the iconographic system). There is a lengthy passage on the back oldie painting that describes the gem-encrusted swing and the beauty and ornaments of the Lord Hindola. Hindola Raga is unique insofar as it is the only musical mode represented by the same basic visual imagery regardless of the iconographic or geographic system. The iconography used for the raga is derived from its name, Hindola, meaning "swing," which is the predominant visual feature of the paintings. It is a morning melody associated with the rainy season, especially the Indian month of Chaitra. Accordingly, burgeoning rain clouds and storms are often portrayed in the literary and pictorial illustrations of Hindola Raga. 


Raga HindolaBesides the set motif of a swing, there are varying numbers of participants in the scene. Typically, a hero or Krishna is shown seated on the swing, usually with a heroine but sometimes alone. Also present are several musicians and attendants, mainly female, one of whom waves a flywhisk over the protagonist(s). This example shows Krishna holding a vina and seated on the swing with a lady while being attended by tbur hand-maidens, one of whom holds a tambura. A row of dark storm clouds fills the sky, and rains are cascading. 

Stylistically this painting is a good example of a mid-seventeenth-century Malwa workshop. Contemporary Mughal works and the pre-Mughal Islamic manuscripts produced at Manch', the capital of Malwa, had little if any lasting influence. Rather. Malwa painting of the period is conservative and almost primitive in appearance. Strong relationships with Jain and early Hindu pictorial traditions are evident. The coloration and the composition are simple yet powerful. Abstract shapes serve for representational forms. The painting is conceived two-dimensionally, with the only indication of depth being the overlapping of physical forms.

Writer -  Pratapaditya Pal
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