Lakshmi, The Goddess of Abundance

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Item Code: OT63
Artist: Anup Gomay
Oil on Canvas
Dimensions 35 inch X 59 inch (Without Frame)
43 inch X 66.6 (With Frame)
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Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade
This large size painting of Goddess Lakshmi, oil on canvas, by Anup Gomay, a young contemporary artist of Delhi, the well known painter Madan Gomay’s son, represents the goddess as manifesting abundance, fertility and accomplishment – her main attributes in scriptures. Gomay has so created the image of the goddess that her attributes manifest in her form itself and the viewer is not required to discover them out of his own believing mind or from texts and transplant them into the image as the viewer does in many deity images. Richly bejeweled in heavy gold ornaments embedded with precious gems carrying in one hand a pot of gold believed to be filled with riches, and holding in the other a rich treasure as ornaments, the goddess is abundance incarnate. From the sacred pot in her left hand – symbolic of the earth, there shower the grains, the fertility defined, and the lotus she rises along as also the pot itself stand for accomplishment.

The scriptural tradition contends Lakshmi’s rise from the ocean when gods and demons churned it for obtaining ambrosia. As here in this canvas she emerged riding an upright lotus symbolic of growth and prosperity. A legend contained in almost all important Puranas, the goddess : the light taking to a form, emerged from abyssal darkness, that is, in her existed both, the light and the darkness, which in the painting Gomay represents in her very being – her form representing the light, and her hair unfurling into all directions, the darkness – the light’s other face. Essentially auspicious the goddess has behind her a form of an elephant with a coiled hind part. Auspicious in tradition it is symbolic also of the elephant god Ganesha. The source of all energies, even dormant and concealed lying coiled within, the goddess has behind her in the form of the elephant’s hind part a ‘kundalini’ form – the graphic representation of coiled energies. When kindled this ‘kundalini’ endows the being with immeasurable energies.

A contemporary mind, Anup Gomay does not seek his image of the goddess as a maiden in her early youth with lustrous beauty and romantically poised figure. Whatever the symbolic elements added, he prefers for her a formal votive posture. He prefers painting her rather in her timeless sublime womanhood the youth and the beauty of which neither diminishes nor enhances with time, a divine form to ever remain the same, the same lustre, vigour and appearance. Unlike the early modern painters such as Raja Ravi Varma who painted mythical figures like Damayanti, Urvashi or even Lakshmi in contemporary frame – largely his own images of them : his own perspectives and environs, Anup Gomay resorted back to mythical tradition not only for discovering Lakshmi’s image-form but also her subordinate imagery. Except that Gomay has conceived the figure of the goddess with normal two arms, whereas in mythical tradition her votive form, especially her isolated sanctum images without Vishnu, are four-armed, and has added some new symbolic elements, his image of the goddess : iconography, modeling, ensemble and adornment, is much the same as she has in Vaishnava tradition.

The figure of the normal two-armed goddess, rare in lustre and unsurpassed in beauty, has been conceived with an oval roundish face, well fed cheeks, large lampblack-coloured eyes that inspire reverence, broad forehead affording due contrast to ornaments worn around, fine features, trimmed eyebrows, cute small lips, and well defined neck with a choker inlaid with precious stones covering its entire rise and a series of various artistically designed pendants suspending along lying on breast that a garland consisting of large flowers of gold frames. The artist has displayed great ingenuity in representing the background which, otherwise a flat perspective, obtains the effect of three dimensions merely by varying the levels of the colours’ depth that he has used, especially the tones of black, which added, the scarlet zones appear to be moving and with such moves the canvas seems to recede backwards creating dimensional effect. Gomay’s talent works best when he converses with his colours that appear to be talking to him and at the same time to the forms that they produce as also beyond such forms.

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. .

Oil painting technique – India centric

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.

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.
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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