Mysore paintings are midway through classical and popular Indian art traditions. The paper equivalent of Tanjore paintings (Tanjore paintings employ a fabric canvas), it is characterised by an eloquence that is possible only for the artisans of the South. Like the fine example you see on this page, Mysore art comprises of highly expressive paintings. The traditional painter draws from the wealth of images afforded by Indian mythology, and infuses his work with the devotion in his simple heart. The theme of this one is the much-discussed Rama-durbar, comprising of Purushottam Rama, His beauteous Seeta, and the devoted duo of Lakshaman and Lord Hanuman, each of whom are much idolised in Indian lore, their travails glorified, shining examples made of their characters that are thoroughly annealed into the Indian psyche.
The deities have been painted with all the opulence of articulation that belongs to Mysore paintings. They are dressed in richly coloured silks, their gold shringar as ample as befits those of the best of us. Purushottam Rama is on a velvet pedestal, before which prostrates the great Lord Hanuman. He is flanked by that part of His family that refused to let Him go into vanvaas (literally, 'stay in the forest', referring to His exile) on His own. A couple of cherubs, with heavenly bodies behind their backs, are showering Him with sweet-smelling white flowers. Note how realistic the backdrop is - warm tropical skies and a bed of verdure. The bottom of the painting is made up of a series of South Indian saints famous for their devotion to the Lord.