Kumar Karttikeya Standing Amidst His Wives

Kumar Karttikeya Standing Amidst His Wives

Kumar Karttikeya, the youthful one, is one of the most widely revered deities of the South. The eldest son of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati, and brother to Lord Ganesha. While devotees of the North worship the brahmachari aspect of Lord Karttikeya, legend of the South has it that He has two wives, the gorgeous Amruthavalli and Sundaravalli. In the folk painting that you see on this page, the handsome Lord is seen standing between His two wives.

It is predominantly bitone kalamkari painting. A portmanteau of the words ‘kalam’ (pen) and ‘kari’ (workmanship), it is the name given to the Indian folk art form originating in Andhra Pradesh (now a Geographical Indicator). The soul of kalamkari lies in the instrument with which the work is executed - a rudimentary pen fashioned from a section of bamboo, its pointed end dipped in a limited but vibrant palette of organic pigments. The composition that you see on this page has a solid scarlet background. The deities in the foreground are drawn in fine, black lines, the nuances of their form and the density of their personal adornments finished with a great deal of detail and precision.

In fact, it is the sheer attention to detail that sets this painting apart as an authentic, traditional kalamkari. There is clarity and formal differentiation despite the density of lines and curves, such as the ornate head of the peacock against the saree of Amruthavalli and each of the feathers in its glittering plumage.

Item Code: PW40
Kalamkari Painting on Cotton
Artist - D. Lakshmamma
26 inches X 24.5 inches
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