Gold foil embellishment in Indian painting is a thing of the South. From Maratha and Company paintings to classical Tanjore works of art, they are characterised by vibrant jewel-tones that set off the gold leaf work. The painting that you see on this page is a contemporary reproduction of such a work. Executed in water colours, it is strategically embossed with 24K gold, especially along the architectural features in the upper half of the painting.
The azure of the heavens in the background sets off the colour palette the figures are painted in - scarlet and gold and ivory. The divine trio of Devi Sarasvati, Devi Lakshmi, and Lord Ganesha. The fairest of the three, Devi Sarasvati is nestled in the petals of a white lotus. She is strumming on Her long-necked veena and the space afore Her lotus-throne is strewn with books and writing instruments. Lord Ganesha is seated in the folds of a pale pink lotus with a plate in His hands piled high with laddoos. At His feet are offerings of fruit and sweets. Devi Lakshmi is at the centre, seated on the most vibrantly coloured bloom. From a pot of wealth in Her lap pours forth a steady stream of gold that gathers in a vessel of gold and jewels at her feet. A pair of gold lamps light up the foreground of this painting, which is overall a statement in learning and affluence and plenitude.
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