Devi Parvati is of gorgeous svaroopa. She is glowing in the divine silks and pearls that clothe Her, Her composure of countenance one of maternal joyousness. Her son is in a pristine dhoti. Their heads are brought together, their golden crowns touching. A layered halo graces the back of their heads. The baby lovingly holds His mother by the chin, a gesture that fills Her with ecstasy. The composition is framed by an archway characteristic of the interior doorways of Indian palaces, against a background of solid brown-grey. The colour palette of this painting is dominated by earthy neutrals, but the emotion it evokes is of superlative beauty.
This beautiful portrayal of the young mother Parvati with her son Ganesha cajoling his mother for some favour takes the viewer back to India's classical age when her ever the greatest poet Kalidasa in his Kumarasambhava, while portraying the youthful beauty and bewitching charms of the world mother Parvati, traverses beyond the son-mother relationship in describing her nude youthfulness and romantic charms. Different from this visualisation on canvas Kalidasa's Parvati has been portrayed doing penance on a Himalayan peak for winning Shiva's love.
Here on canvas it is mother Parvati, though with her ever enduring beauty and charm she is yet the same as Kalidasa had seen her two thousand year back engaged in penance on an ice-covered mountain peak. She has the same thick black hair wherein the drops of water oozing from the icy Himalayan peak lose their way, and if ever they come out of them and dive below, her thick deep eye brows arrest them mid-way, and if ever they allow them to take their downward course, they are destined to strike against her coconut-like strong and well protruded breasts and melt into a sleek ripple of water stealing its way across the narrow pass where her two breasts meet.
Parvati's exposure here, the exposition of her upper part which a mother usually exposes to her child, is just for a son's eye. A male child's love and attachment to his mother is an all time universal phenomenon. A child seeks the ever first taste and touch of the human body in the form of his mother only. It is this universal principle which the artist seems to have applied with his Parvati and Ganesha theme. The artist seems to replace Ganesha in his enjoyment of a mother's alluring youthfulness and charm, though at the same time he has installed the lively mother instead under an arch on a golden throne against a huge bolster and has blended with his visualisation her deity form, his deep devotion and India's votive cult.
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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