Vishwamitra and Menaka

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Residing in the wilderness of a distant hill region, Vishwamitra’s Tapasya (penance) knew no bounds. The power of the sage was such that an apprehensive Indra sent Menaka, the gorgeous apsara on earth to seduce the sage and disrupt his determinations. This excellent reproduction of Raja Ravi Varma’s Vishwamitra and Menaka, this oil painting depicts the celestial nymph endeavoring to attract the attention of the great ascetic. 

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Item Code: OP43
Oil Painting on Canvas Artist Om Prakash Saini
Dimensions 36 inch Width x 48 inch Height
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Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

The enchanting Menaka whose physical form oozes glamour has fully covered herself in a plain sari, pearl Kila (ear stud), and simple necklaces- an attire resonating with the simplicity of forest dwellers. Flowers are strung together by her to adorn her hair bun, and she holds a flower in her hand, offering it to Vishwamitra along with her proposal of love. Stark naked, wearing only strings of Rudraksha on his body, Vishwamitra has a long and grey beard which tells the story of his extreme penance. The sage stares at the horizon in a bid to avoid eye contact with the beautiful maiden sitting beside him. The waterfall in the background flows over unflinching rocks, adding dynamism to this oil painting. Just as a flowing stream ultimately breaks the rocks that fall in its path, Menaka succeeded in breaking Vishwamitra’s resolution, and their union resulted in the birth of Shakuntala, beautiful like her mother and the heroine of Abhigyanshakuntalam. 

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Crafting Masterpieces: An Insight into the Making of Indian Oil Paintings

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.
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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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