Radha and Krishna Playing Holi

Radha and Krishna Playing Holi
Availability: Can be backordered
Paata Painting on Tussar Silk Fabric
Folk Art from the Temple Town of Puri (Orissa)
Artist Rabi Behera
41.5 inches X 18.0 inches
Item Code: PL29
Price: $280.00
Best Deal: $224.00
Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
This item can be back ordered
Time required to recreate this artwork: 6 to 8 weeks
Advance to be paid now (% of product value): 20%
Balance to be paid once product is ready: 80%
The amount to be tendered as advance to back order this artwork: $56.00
Viewed 11352 times since 15th Jan, 2012
This colourful cloth painting from Orissa, known as ‘pata-chitra’ – painting on cloth, represents Radha and Krishna playing Holi in the suburb of Vrindavana. The painting has used a fine textile-length of cotton blended with silk giving it lustre and smooth surface. Radha has a team of Gopis but Krishna has none except perhaps one from among the Gopis themselves discharging colour from her pipe on one who is targeting Krishna by her pipe and assisting Radha. The painting has been rendered using the characteristic Oriya art idiom in the figures’ iconography: large eye-balls with miniaturised black portion, angular faces, pointed noses with arching central part, cheeks merging with necks and typical eye-brows, Krishna’s body-colour, multi-complexioned Gopis, anatomy with extra tall figures, especially of women folk, style of apparels – colours, prints and mode of wearing, ornaments and hair-dressing, dramatized form of the cows, modeling of vessels containing colour-solutions and ‘gulal’ – coloured powder sprinkled on faces while celebrating the festival of Holi, style of trees and plants and virtually in conceiving the overall background.

The central figures in the upper register are the golden hued Radha and the blue-bodied Krishna, and in the lower, besides a white cow – an essential aspect of Krishna’s imagery, there is a Gopi in short loincloth covering only the upper part of her thighs below her waist. She is filling her pipe with colour from a brilliantly painted and modeled pot containing red colour. By its beauty the pot marks the centre of the painting. Equally beautifully designed, painted and modeled, though taller in dimension, two other pots filled with blue and maroon colours, painted on equi-distance towards the bottom along the border, define the base-line in the painting. A series of horizontal mountains-like upwards curving courses cast with net-design, scattered over the lower half of the canvas, defines the earth with a hilly terrain as against the sky which the tiny stylized blue-white clouds floating in the space define. Widely branching trees with yellow flowers, green leaves and maroon trunks and branches define the sky-line.

Unaware of Radha who is close behind him Krishna discharges coloured water with his pipe on a Gopi mischievously targeting her breasts. Taking its advantage Radha catches hold of Krishna and with her both hands smears his cheeks with ‘gulal’. Radha’s is a strong team. At least four of her ‘sakhis’ simultaneously shoot at Krishna colours from their pipes, one discharges a bust of ‘gulal’, another is readying her pipe for new offensive, two of them are rushing with trays of ‘gulal’ and many others come forward with trumpets, drums and other instruments and begin celebrating by blowing and beating them the Radha’s victory over Krishna who she baffles. A sleek inner white border with a creeper design with red flowers and green leaves alternating, exactly like the inlaid marble courses in the Tajmahal and many other Mughal buildings, distinguishes the main painting from the outer border which is typical of Orissa.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.

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