PaintingsDevi Sar...

Devi Saraswati

Devi Saraswati
Availability: Out of stock
Madhubani Painting on Hand Made Paper
Artist: Vidya Devi and Dhirendra Jha
10 inches x 14 inches
Item Code: DB17
Price: $80.00
Viewed 2339 times since 1st Jan, 2019
Legends say that she sprung from the forehead of her father, Brahma, as did the Greek virgin goddess Athena who was born from her father, Zeus's head. As soon as Brahma looked at this beautiful woman, he desired her, even though she was his daughter. Saraswati disliked the amorous attentions of this old god and kept dodging him, but whichever way she moved, Brahma grew a head in that direction to see her the better. As a result he grew four faces on four sides of his neck, and even a head on top of these four, so that she could not escape by moving upwards. But Saraswati still eluded him.

Brahma was angry. He, being the Creator, was also all powerful. We do not know how, but legend has it that he did manage to marry the elusive girl, and produced through her mind the four great Vedas. Lore also has it that Brahma discovered that his girl-wife was too aloof and absent-minded for his liking. He had arranged for a major fire-sacrifice, at which his wife's appearance by his side was a must. He repeatedly warned Saraswati not to take too long over her toilet and miss the auspicious hour. She must, he had decreed, take her traditional seat to his left, well in time. But Saraswati behaved with her characteristic whimsical disregard for parental diktats. Her prolonged toilet saw to it that the holy hour passed without the couple's making the supreme joint offering to the fire God as man and wife. When Saraswati finally arrived, Brahma was livid. He threw her out, and replaced her with the daughter of a sage, called Gayatri.

Saraswati, thus, though married, never enjoyed domestic bliss like Durga or Lakshmi. According to most myths she had no children, possessed a fiery temper, was easily provoked and was somewhat quarrelsome. She, of all the goddesses, is described as possessing a very independent will and was not very obliging to the male gods.

As the disinherited daughter and estranged wife, Saraswati lived perpetually in self-imposed exile. She focuses her calm, dispassionate gaze upon the past as pure experience. The capacity to recall without anger or resentment, is Saraswati's greatest gift to her children: the writers, musicians and creators of various art forms. All of them have fought with tradition, but their fight has been cerebral, not emotional. For without cutting away the umbilical cord, no innovative new beginning may ever be made, whether one is creating or procreating. This is the message of Saraswati.

In her hands she also holds a rosary and a book. The book associates her with the sciences and with learning in general. The lute associates her with the arts, particularly the musical arts, and the rosary associates her with the spiritual sciences and with religious rites. The fourth of her hand is raised in a boon-granting gesture. Like Lakshmi and unlike Durga and Kali, she does not carry any arms or weapons.

Broadly speaking folk art may be defined as the art created among groups that exist within the framework of existing society, but for geographical and cultural reasons, are largely separated from the sophisticated developments of their time. As a result, they produce distinctive styles and objects for local needs and tastes. The output of such art represents a unique complex of primitive impulses and traditional survivals. It is an art motivated by not only utilitarian and ritualistic features but also by individual and recreational impulses.

Hindu women who live in villages near the market town of Madhubani in northern India maintain old traditions and teach them to their daughters. Painting is one of the traditional skills that is passed down from generation to generation in the families of some of the women. They paint figures from nature and myth on household and village walls to mark the seasonal festivals of the religious year, for special events of the life-cycle, and when marriages are being arranged they prepare intricately designed wedding proposals. The artist many a times are simple housewives, who have never been to any school to learn the art of painting. Hence the spontaneity in their art.

The painters do not seek to place objects or figures in a natural relation to each other. The figures may float in a tranquil aqurium or fragile angels aginst an aery background, creating an aura of fantastic strangeness.

It is the colors that create the mood, determine the pulse and tempo, divide the space and provide the background.

The artist starts with a rigorously selected subject-matter, without any attempt to transpose a literal scene or create a photographic semblance of an ordinary situation. Simplification leads to added intensity. The aim is towards a general radiance.

The paper itself is handmade and treated with cowdung and the colours used are extracted from vegetables. People of Madhubani have their own language and a sense of regional identity that goes back more than 2500 years. Among the most celebrated figures believed to have been born in the region are Mahavira (a great spiritual hero of the Jain religion), Siddhartha Gautama (better known to the world as the Buddha), and Sita (the legendary wife of Prince Rama and herself a central figure in the world's epic the Ramayana).

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