Rasamanjari, The Nectarous Ocean, is a collection of paintings originating from Bhanudatta's 14th century work of the same name describing Shringara Rasa in Basohli style of Pahari Painting produced in three versions of which the present one of A.D. 1695 is more refined, mature and perfect as compared to the other two. Basohli art has left a mark on the cultural horizon of India with these miniatures of the highest aesthetic appeal. The 'Flasamanjarr appeared in vigour and quality of simplicity, boldness and broad mannerism making these creations models of frankness, vitality and vigour in style, individualistic in nature and strong in artistic convictions in this small principality called Basohli. Rasamanjari paintings display charming, vibrant, penetrating colour delighting our eyes and heart.
Contrasts of red, yellow, Krishna blue, lavishly displayed ochres and deep greens make these paintings lavish, graceful, distinct and glamorous. The vegetable and mineral burning colours are obviously derived from the folk-art tradition. The sensitive curvacious line and bright colours when softened look glorious in pastel shades. The young women appear in their costumes, high nose line, receding fore-heads, lotus shaped eyes, faces of almond shades, shapely figures, unique postures, passionate looks and give us a glimpse of cultural background of 17th century A.D. Joy of love, sensuous behaviour, inviting gestures and captivating looks enrich the glorious works in miniature painting of advancement in a puritanical society of the hills.
Rasamanjari paintings have simplicity of composition and delicacy of colour which mark them out from other Basohli paintings and relate them to more refined Kangra-Guler style. We notice revivalical approach heading to revolt against corruption in cultural and aesthetic values in a civilization and this transformation in cultural heritage and religious tradition is perfect in silent colours against the inert, bleak and monotonous way of life. We face our religion, in experiments and new adjustments where love was now developed as a way of life, where sensualism and mysticism amalgamated to see the creation of God to make us realize the hollowness of the world, which Rasamanjari paintings of A.D. 1695, painted by Devidasa at Basohli aim at.
Only six paintings of Basohli Rasamanjari have appeared in publications, in the past 65 years. The Nectarous Ocean brings 95 works printed in actual size for the first time.
Novelist, short story writer, poet, linguist, art historian, art critic, painter, sculptor, social scientist, sportsman and a filmmaker, Onkar Chandra Sharma, who writes under the nom de plume Onkar Rahi, was born on 20th, May 1940 in a family of scholars traditionally devoted to the studies of Sanskrit and oriental languages. A combination of sports and scholarship, love for research, astrology, occult, tantra, culture, Vedic studies and social services, makes Mr. Rahi a rare personality in India. He joined prestigious Indian Police Service at the age of 23 and retired at the top most rank as Director General of Police from Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Rahi is credited with eight novels in Hindi and one in English, a collection of short stories, two books on linguistics, an anthology of poems and five books on art and sculpture. His famous book `Khajuraho Unknown', a best seller, has been highly acclaimed in the world of Art. The Devi : Shakta Cult' and `Rasamanjari : The Nectarous Ocean' are his valuable contribution to Pahari Miniature Painting. His edited works include 'Crime Against Women', 'M.P. Police journal', and `Kangra Annual', an art magazine. His hobbies include collection of rare books, coins, paintings, sculpture and antiques. Presently, he is settled in his home town, Kangra in Himachal Predesh under the snow clad Western Himalayas and is involved in social and charitable activities in addition to his literary pursuits.
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