Eighteen-armed Goddess Durga

$1150
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Time required to recreate this artwork
4 to 6 weeks
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$230 (20%)
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$920
Item Code: OR36
Specifications:
Oil on Canvas
Dimensions 30.0 inches X 49.0 inches
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade
This large size magnificent painting, glistening with gold’s lustre, represents the eighteen-armed Durga, the most highly worshipped goddess of Indian masses, irrespective of whatever their sectarian lines. Oil on canvas, and gold foil used for special effects, the painting represents the goddess in her votive form. Though mounted on her lion and fully armed, she is not engaged in any kind of action against a demon or any – something rare in regard to her imagery for even in her sanctum images she is represented as engaged in the act of annihilating evil. Indeed, she is worshipped as the ultimate divine power capable of eradicating every evil and every wrong, and nurturing and sustaining life in whichever form it exists, and hence to be in an act is the very condition of her being. In the Mahabharata, that is, about two thousand six-seven hundred years ago, none other than Krishna, Vishnu’s incarnation, perceives in Durga the ultimate power to defeat enemies, obviously, something even beyond Vishnu’s power.

Thus, not a disembodied divine authority or concept that the believing mind nurtures, Durga is perceived as a dynamic presence – a militant goddess, with a form, and in an act vanquishing the dark and everything adverse to life and protecting good and righteous. Obviously, even as votive, this form of her image is largely uncommon. As has almost rigidified in mind, this eighteen-armed lion-seated form of Durga represents on one hand rare feminine beauty and imperishable youth, and on the other, as one who carries in her hands various instruments of war and on her face the determination to avenge her devotee’s tormenter and punish a wrong-doer. Rarer is the unique quiescence that reflects on her face and her confidence as if triumph is the foregone conclusion of all her battles against evil.

Using astonishing skill the artist has created rhythmic vibrancy in conceiving as many as eighteen arms on one torso, which could otherwise be quite odd and cumbersome. He has transformed her usual golden complexion into the light blue, perhaps to match flowing water’s ripples or to reflect clouds’ form, which her arms seem to transform into and create a rhythm. The artist has conceived her form as stationary, and the weapons she is carrying as mere attributes characteristic to her form, perhaps not for immediate use for otherwise she would not hold both bow and arrow on one and the same side, and sword and shield, on the other. In her right side hands she is carrying noose, mace – an elongated and heavier one, lotus, bowl, ‘parashu’ – axe, shield, sword, ‘kamandala’ – water-pot with handle and spout, and staff. On her left, she is holding disc, trident, conch, spear, rod with a jagged edge, arrow, bow, triple-bladed trident and bell. The arrow in her hand apart, she also has on her back a gold-quiver full of venomous arrows.

The goddess is seated on her mount lion with each of her legs suspending on either side. The lion is in stationary position, though fully enthused is also ready to gallop and charge. The goddess has on her face absolute composure though not without a sense of concern. She has an elongated face with receding chin, sharp nose, thoughtful eyes, arched eye-brows, broad forehead, small well-shaped lips and a longer neck. Elegantly modeled she has a tall slim figure with fine long fingers and lotus-palms. She is putting on a majestic Vaishnava crown with a pair of framing rings, gold-bangles, necklaces, armlets, foot and finger ornaments, all embedded with rubies, emeralds and other precious stones, besides a garland of lotus-buds. Her face radiates into rings of light which halo-like frame her face.

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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Crafting Masterpieces: An Insight into the Making of Indian Oil Paintings

Oil painting is the most interesting technique in art. Unlike other paintings or art forms, oil painting is a process in which colored pigments are painted on the canvas with a drying oil medium as a binder. This medium helps colors blend beautifully to create layers and also makes them appear rich and dense. Several varieties of oil are used in this painting such as sunflower oil, linseed oil, etc., and depending on the quality of the oil, a particular consistency of the paint is developed. With the use of an oil medium, the painting gets a natural sheen on the surface which appears extremely attractive. India is famous for its old tradition of making oil paintings. This art form was brought by Europeans in the 18th century and is now practiced by almost all well-known artists. Nirmal, a small tribal town in the state of Telangana is the center of traditional oil paintings in India where the local people practice it with dedication. Most Indian artists still use the traditional technique of oil painting.

Canvas of the required size is prepared

The artists use either a wood panel or canvas made from linen or cotton. Sometimes the canvas is stretched onto the wooden frame to form a solid base, or cardboard may be used. The canvas is coated with a layer of white paint or chalk mixed with animal glue. This mixture is then smoothed and dried to form a uniform, textured surface. The wooden panel is more expensive and heavier but its solidity is an advantage in making detailed paintings with ease.
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Sketch is drawn on the canvas

Now the artist starts to draw the subject of the painting on the canvas using the actual charcoal or a charcoal pencil. Sometimes, he may sketch with thinned paint as well.

Oil paint is applied using paint brushes or palette knives

Now that the rough sketch is prepared, the artist is now ready to paint. Oil paint, a special paint that contains particles of pigments suspended in a drying oil (usually linseed oil), is again mixed with oil to make it thinner for applying it on the canvas. Proper consistency of the paint is maintained to avoid its breakage. The most important rule for the application of oil paint is “Fat over lean” in which the first layer of paint is thin and later, thicker layers are applied. This means that each additional layer of paint contains more oil. This results in getting a stable paint film. Traditionally, paint was applied using paint brushes but now the artists also use palette knives to create crisp strokes. To paint using this technique, the edge of the palette knife is used to create textured strokes that appear different from that of a paintbrush. Sometimes, oil paints are blended simply using fingers for getting the desired gradation.
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Smaller oil paintings, with very fine detail, are relatively easier to paint than larger ones. The most attractive feature of these paintings is the natural shiny appearance that is obtained on the surface because of the use of oil paint. The blending of colors looks extremely realistic and this is the reason why oil paintings are loved by everyone throughout the world.
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