Lord Karttikeya is the eternally celibate, irresistibly handsome son of Shiva and Parvati. While He is believed to have 2 wives in some region of India, the painting that you see on this page depicts Him in all His solitary serenity and beauty. He is seated in lalitasana on a golden throne, with the right leg bent on the back of His gorgeous blue vahana, the peacock.
The amber of Karttikeya’s dhoti matches the halo glowing behind His head. The solid red velvet colour of the high backrest of His throne contrasts with the same. From the edges of the throne to the adornment on Karttikeya’s body, these aspects of the painting have been executed in solid gold-layered gesso-work. Wound around the claws of the peacock is a snake that raises its hood in the lateral direction. It is indicative of the parentage of Karttikeya.
The temple entrance-like structure along all four edges in the foreground frames the composition. Together with the solid-coloured background and the dark wooden frame, it is a hallmark of the authentic, traditional Tanjore painting of the South.
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