A row of lotus buds grows from the murky waters of a pond in the woods. A layer of emerald-coloured lotus pads coats its surface, from amidst which rise the slender stems with the pink crowns. Of varying lengths and bloom, they sway this way and that, conveying life and dynamism in a seemingly still work of art. The princely face of the Buddha predominates the background. His mukhamandala is the softest, most beauteous lotus of them all.
But for the jewel tones of the lotuses and lotus-pads in the foreground, this painting is largely monotone. A smooth silvery complexion, a composure of bliss and wisdom and equanimity. He is the Enlightened One, having attained Buddhahood after years after years of wandering and mendicancy and asceticism. Those long, wisened ears and the profound contemplation of that brow are the result of lifetimes of intangible sadhana. The painter has captured exactly that out of the sheer skill of his brush and the shraddha in his heart.
Smoke-coloured clouds fill the background in this painting. The whole of it is coated with a layer of shimmering gold mist, proof of the gently rising sun outside the frame of this painting. Its rays emerge into the frame and light up the left side of Gautama Buddha’s face. This infuses the composition with warmth and light and life.
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