Elephant and Peacock with Tree of Life
Madhubani art is one of the famous art forms that originated from a village called Mithila in Bihar. Since ancient times, these paintings have been a part of festivities and special events like weddings; initially practiced by women, it is passed on to their daughters since generations to spread good luck.
This painting is characterized by eye catching geometrical patterns depicting pictures of nature and mythology for occasions like marriage, birth and other festivals; painted in bright shades with colors derived from natural sources like turmeric, pollen, pigments, indigo, sandalwood, leaves and flowers of various trees. One of the highlighting features is that this painting represents the Dusadhs caste system as the entire background is filled with splendid motifs of flora and fauna.
The vibrant peacock that stands on this wondrously entangled tree with its long yellow feathers that fall down in ease, represents divine love, romance, knowledge and prosperity. The awe-struck eye pattern on the feathers is symbolic of saving people from negativity. This elegant black elephant painted with green flower motifs symbolizes power and strength.
Made using powdered rice-paste, fingers, nib pens, brushes, matchsticks and twigs, the ethnic royalty of this master craft is one of a kind. Tree of life holds a great significance in Feng Shui as it is linked to divinity and attaining knowledge and spirituality. This painting depicts a beautiful interplay of color palette in its most traditional and elegant charms.
Sari from Punjab with Phulkari Embroidery in Self and Golden BorderDespite its translucent appearance, chiffon is a very strong fabric. Made with twisted yarns, often with a shell-edged hem, it is the fabric of choice when it comes to the saree-clad actresses of Hindi cinema or any Indian woman with a predilection for soft, intimate allure. The diaphanous saree that you see on this page is one such chiffon number. It is youthful, and available in a variety of statement-making colours - from ivory and black to pastels such as azure and green, and black.
The elegance of this saree lies in the simplicity of its embroidery. The same motifs that are to be found on the solid-coloured field are on the pleats and end-piece as well. They are embroidered using the famous phulkari (‘phul’ is the regional word for ‘flower’, ‘kari’ for ‘embroidery’) technique of Punjabi fashion. Zoom in on the willowy wintry flowers that add some degree of opacity to the foundation chiffon. This number would make for a great conversation-starter at casual days-out and informal luncheons.
Lotus Aureole Devi LakshmiThe ones truly devoted to Devi Lakshmi are never lacking in prosperity. She is the deity that dispenses wealth where it is most needed, in proportions that are most apt. Her husband, Lord Vishnu, is responsible for the process of preservation (sthiti), to which affluence is indispensable. Hence His wife is the deity responsible for the same - a fine example of divine compatibility.
She is one of the most beauteous of the Hindu devis. Fair and lissome, She is carved out from a piece of indigenous wood, after the sculptural style of ancient South Indian temples. Seated in lalitasana, Her roopa adorned with gold and jewels, the chaturbhujadhari (four-armed) Devi raises Her anterior hands in blessing and the gesture of fearlessness; in Her posterior hands She holds up freshly blooming lotuses. Zoom in on that slender waist, those long limbs, and the sharp features of Her face in order to admire the skill and perfection with which She has been sculpted.
A gigantic pink lotus constitutes Her asana (seat). Around Her is an aureole carved with colourful lotus petals. An ornate, vibrantly hued kirtimukha is to be found at the crown of the composition, right at the mouth of which towers the Devi’s tall and multi-tiered Southern-style crown. The characteristic colour palette of the composition - rich pinks, greens, and oranges - is in keeping with the ethos of Devi Lakshmi.
Ganga Ghat at VaranasiGanga Ghats are stone embankments or steps that lead people to the Ganges Riverfront. This site in Varanasi, the most sacred city in Hinduism, has up to 88 ghats or steps visited for various functions such as bathing, puja, and even cremation. As an important religious hub, Varanasi is also known for its various ghats and its appearances in many forms of art throughout history.
This Batik Painting on Cotton depicting Ganga Ghat tastefully depicts the site in its spiritual and aesthetic glory. Like the Goddess it is personified with, the Ganges River is a symbol of life, purity, and power since time immemorial. it is often depicted in art as a serene yet impactful scene, showing how the religious live up to and with the holiness of the river. In this painting, the palette used involves shades of red, purple, and yellow in signature Batik finish renders the image to look like it’s in the evening. But a closer look on the painting shows the Ghat bustling with activities as seen on the people on boats, taking a dip, or simply staying under parasols on the steps, which is a good depiction of the Ganga Ghat and the Ganges being part of the Hindu life no matter the time of day.
Ganga Ghat is often the subject of both religious and societal art in India and beyond. It will always be a focus of many art forms for as long as there is birth, living, and death, the very circle witnessed by the river itself. Exotic India has this painting and hundreds of others curated for anyone who wishes to have a piece of the culture in art. The Gange is perhaps the holiest witness to the life going on beyond its banks, and for as long as people live, it will remain a dear place of worship, life, and farewell for those who believe.
Poppy-Red Paithani Sari with Hand-Woven Peacocks on PalluThe beauty of the Paithani variety of Indian sarees lies in the weave. The technique having been preserved through generations of weaver-families in the Maharashtrian village of Paithan, it is employed exclusively on pure homegrown silk. What you see on this page is a fine example of the results - a one-of-a-kind number, replete with an appeal that is feminine, regal, and powerful.
The rich vermillion colour is the most statement-making aspect of this saree. It is the colour of prosperity and fecundity, a distinctly bridal hue, which makes it a great one to add to your trousseau for those post-wedding family meetings. Note the miniscule booties of solid gold hue against the foundation colour. The thick gold-woven border goes well with the panel of solid gold layered on the end piece.
Note the hints of pastel blue, purple, and red superimposed on the same. Team this with your favourite pieces from your newest batch of gold jewellery, and you would be set to make a memorable impression.
Lord Vishnu and Goddess LakshmiLord Vishnu is a preserver of the world. It is the energy of Lord Vishnu that regulates and maintains the cosmic order. He incarnates to benefit humanity and to get rid of evil as he is ordained with the responsibility of maintenance and he gets the support from his eternal consort Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth and fortune. Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi are worshipped together so that devotees can seek their blessings for a prosperous and healthy life. Gradually the virtues and attributes of the deities start manifesting in their devotees.
The iconography of Lord Vishnu’s sculpture depicts him with four arms which denote his all-powerful and pervasive nature. They also symbolize four directions and his absolute power to control the reins of the entire universe. Lord Vishnu holds Shankha (Conch) in the upper left hand, Chakra (Disc) in the upper right hand and Gada (Mace) in the lower left hand while he blesses his devotees with the lower right hand. The deity is gracefully decked up with jewels and the crown on his head gives him supreme stature. His consort Goddess Lakshmi by his side showcases her energy by showering wealth from her the lower -left open hand and give blessings to her devotees by the lower right hand. She holds the bunch of lotuses in the upper right and left hand that symbolizes wisdom, implying that wealth needs the backing of wisdom to harvest good results. The splendour, radiance, and beauty of both the deities are enhanced with intricate jewels, crown, and superfine garments.
The deity Goddess Lakshmi with her husband Lord Vishnu symbolizes that wealth and prosperity should be coupled with judicious and earnest actions that give complete fulfilment to human life. Exotic India uniquely presents the deity of Supreme God Lord Vishnu and Supreme Goddess Lakshmi to create the environs of bliss, harmony, and divinity.
Young Maiden Paints Her SolesA young maiden sits in the privacy of her chamber. She has had a long day, perhaps spent in the kitchen in order to welcome the evening guests. They would arrive any moment now, and her mother has sent her beautiful daughter to her room in order to do her hair and paint her palms and soles with alta. As such, the freshly applied dye would give off the most vibrant colour against her roseate skin.In parts of India, it is customary for young ladies to don the alta on the occasion of having prospective grooms visiting her with their respective families.
Made from the crushed petals of the hibiscus flowers, the organic dye has a rich red colour and is symbolic of youth and fecundity. There is a particular way of applying it - along the edges, a solid circle at the centre, at the tips of the digits - as could be gleaned from the gesture of the subject.
She has chosen a green bootidar saree for the occasion, teamed with a pink low-cut blouse. Languidly she traces her fingers dipped in alta along her soles, her minimal gold ornaments motioning in accordance with her gently tilting head. A soft lilac cushion lies next to her. Within moments she is going to finish off the alta and, whilst putting her ample tresses in a bun, wait for it to dry.
Porcelain-Rose Prachi Kameez with Floral Printed Skirt and Embroidered Chiffon DupattaDeep peach colour, check. A regal flowing silhouette, check. A luscious embroidered dupatta, check. If distinctive and feminine are words you would use to describe your signature look, this traditional lehenga-suit is just the dress for you. The understated, minimalist embroidery makes for an unusual statement. On the solid-coloured kameez are to be found carefully arranged proportions of gold along the collar, the long loose-cut sleeves, and the hemline together with the thinly lined edges.
The lehenga skirt comes in a paler orange colour. It features a diamond pattern in alternating shades and tints of the same colour, superimposed rosebush motifs and vines. It is a voluminous number, one that will sway around you as you walk, turning heads from every direction. A long, luscious dupatta completes the ensemble. Its chiffon make couples well with the silken fabric of the rest of the dress, not to mention the new-age motifs of the embroidery thereon.
The Glory Of NatarajaThe Shivatandava is more than just a dance. It is a force of nature, of its constituent eternal energies. It is srshti, sthiti, and samhara in one composite process. The Mahadeva is lord of the tandava, king (raja) over such a potent dance (nata). The image of the Lord Nataraja, with that highly characteristic mudra of His limbs, captures a powerful moment in the midst of the tandava.
The Nataraja composition that you see on this page is a lifelike, skilfully finished one. The mudra of His hands convey abhaya or fearlessness (anterior right hand) and the grace of the divine gaja or elephant (anterior left hand). In His posterior hands are a damru (exuding the creative nada) and a flame of fire (the means of destruction). Crucial to the Nataraja iconography is the predominance of the naga (snake). Note the flaying snake-like locks of His hair; the ones that slither over His torso, wrists, and ankles like divine adornments; and the multi-hooded one that forms the crown on His head.
The prabhamandala (‘prabha’ is Sanskrit for ‘flame’) and the pedestal that frame the central figure, distinguish this work from your run-of-the-mill Nataraja sculptures. The three-ringed aureole does justice to the glamour of the tandava and gathers in a kirtimukha motif at the very top. Note the unusual, angular finish of the traditional lotus pedestal.
Haloed Devi Gajalakshmi, Rich In ShringarChaturbhujadhari Devi Gajalakshmi is seated in lalitasana on the back of the majestic elephant (gaja). She is clad in the finest fabrics that befit a devi and is covered head to toe in jewels, the very picture of plenty. Indeed She is the deity that presides over wealth and resources, which are prerequisites to the preservation aspect of the creation-preservation-destruction process. As the wife of Lord Vishnu, the deity that presides over preservation, She is indispensable to Him.
Zoom in on every aspect of the Deviroopa to take in the beauty of Her iconography. From the minute shringar of Her fingers to the layered kamarband that holds Her dhoti in place; from the gorgeous karna-kundalas that flank Her delicate neck to the tall bejewelled crown that towers over Her curly-haired head. Her face is as fresh and expressive as the two pink lotuses She holds up in Her posterior hands, an integral element of Her iconography.
So is the elephant, to the Devi Gajalakshmi. A richly adorned elephant translates to abundance and prosperity, which makes it the ideal companion to Devi Lakshmi. Its soft slate-coloured body bears a world of silks and ornaments, which are a match to His Devi’s shringar. From the large halo that forms an aureole behind Her figure to the temple-carving motifs in the background and border, this composition is a fine example of the kalamkari painting tradition.