This portrait of a lady playing the veena is set in the garden. She is seated on a bench judiciously placed at the edge of the patio, surrounded with various shrubs and plants. Vines with flowers hang down to encompass the figure in floral nimbus.
Possessing gentle, idealized features, she has a serene majesty which imbues her with a gentle iconic character. She seems to have crossed the threshold of unbridled youth. This is prominent in the treatment of clothes and jewelry, which is more regal than opulent. She has fish shaped eyes (meenakshi) which are not in contact with the viewer; has a straight aquiline nose and full lips. Her hair is neatly coiled at the nape of her neck, bedecked with a flower. A small 'bindi' rests on her wide forehead. The image of the lady is ethnic, laden with signs of tradition in attire and accessories. Her rust and yellow sari in rich fibre and a broad brocade border is draped in a typical Mysorean manner. She also wears a contrasting black blouse with exquisite embroidery. Her sari gracefully covers just the back of her shoulder.
Aristrocratic home, dress and demeanour and the very attributes of a leisured way of life have been used to define the feminine image of genteel sensuality. She is playing the veena in a pensive mood. A three dimensional effect of the veena is created with the aid of shading.
In order to depict the bend of her right hand, the artist has thickened it in relation to her body proportions. On the left hand though, the fingers are thoughtfully placed, each on a different string. Her hand movement and her concentration on the instrument brings about a fluidity in the picture, impressing that the moment is actually one when she is playing it.
The perfect art of portraiture here reveals the inner personality of the lady who is so peaceful and tranquil. In a calm, unobtrusive way, this painting allows for the mellow, pensive refinement of the subject to come through inherently bound with delicate sensuality and natural dignity.
This description by Renu Rana.
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