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Sri Nath Ji

Sri Nath Ji

Sri Nath Ji

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Stone Color on Paper
Nathdwara (Rajasthan) school With 24 Gold Work Embossed with Gemstones

10.0" x 15.0"
Item Code:
HP69
Frame
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Viewed 6086 times since 2nd Oct, 2008
This image of Krishna wearing long garlands and necklaces and a crown of peacock feathers is the characteristic Nathdwara iconography of Lord Krishna widely known as Shrinathji. The city of Nathdwara, south of Udaipur in Rajasthan, situated on the right bank of river Banas, was established in 1683 as one of the four seats of Vallabh sect, or Pushtimarg, of Vaishnava devotional cult propounded by Vallabhacharaya around the closure of the 15th century. Nathdwara is known alike for both, its distinguished art style and its Vaishnava cult of Shrinathji. For four hundred years now Nathdwara has been a constant center of great art and is known for its multiple art forms and art media. This Nathdwara iconography of Shrinathji is one of the most widely imitated forms of Lord Krishna.

This picture represents Lord Krishna in an unusual deity form. He ahs been rendered here lifting Mount Govardhan, the most worshipped form of Lord Krishna, though the representation is only symbolical suggested by the movement of his raised left hand and its finger. This painting is in great conformity to the Nathdwara deity form of Shrinathji. As the tradition has it, mother Yashoda has been represented here as Purnaghat covered with a piece of red cloth. Krishna's favorite butter, in a gold casket, has been painted to his right and a small image of his elder brother, the fair-complexioned Balarama on his left. The gopis on his sides is also a usual feature.

The painting is in the decorative style of Tanjore art and here effects have been achieved using the strength of colors. It has been created by a tedious process, which is a combination of painting and embossing. In addition the artist has stuck real pearls and semi-precious gemstones at places to highlight the jewelry of the deity. For example on the crown of the Lord, pearls have been glued with the help of a strong adhesive so that these stones jutt out of the two-dimensional painted surface, giving it a three-dimensional effect.

The decorative element is by and large very strong and characteristic of the Nathdwara deity image which is lavishly adorned with rich costumes and ornaments every morning before the doors of the shrine are opened. Fabulous ornaments are balanced by alike beautiful floral adornment. The artist has introduced here for giving better effects and deeper symbolism to this supreme deity of love a bower in the background. A fine border, an elegantly laid chowki, a pool with many flowering lotuses, prevalence of flowers and the use of basic bright colors are other elements that render the painting highly decorative.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of ancient Indian literature. Dr Daljeet is the chief curator of the Visual Arts Gallery at the National Museum of India, New Delhi. They have both collaborated on numerous books on Indian art and culture.

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