Continuity and Change by Dr. B. N. Goswamy
Venue - Coomaraswamy Hall
The work of three generations of artists on the great Rasamanjari series of paintings
2nd Dr. Devangana Desai Endowment Lecture
by Dr. B. N. Goswamy
Rasamanjari, the poet Bhanudatta’s great 15th century text on nayikas and nayaks – classic archetypes of ‘heroines’ and ‘heroes’ – had turned into a favoured theme for painters all over India. In the Pahari region, however, there appears to have been obsessive interest in that sensuous, erotic text, for coming from the same artist-family, three painters, belonging to three generations, produced a series based on it, each in his own manner. Kripal, from the state of Nurpur, produced the first and the most brilliant of these series; his son, Devidasa, the second; and his grandson, Golu, the third. Questions naturally come to mind. Why, for instance, this continuing interest? Did they all work from master drawings preserved in the family? How did transmission of themes and motifs take place? What are the stylistic relationships if any between these series? One tries to find answers to questions like these across the dense fog of time.