Thursday, May 07th, 2009 | Author:

South of India is famous for its temple architecture and grand display of colors that depict the various mythological tales. The gopuras or the towers of the temple are a striking feature. Apart from wood and exotic fragrant wood sculpture the state of Karnataka was the chief pioneer in paintings. The paintings were patronized by the Kings who loved art and had a passion for constructing palatial dwellings.


Social set ups had major murals depicting the culture of the South which was encouraged by the existing rulers. Rich traders and royals had a penchant for the paint work which was beautifully brought out by the craftsmen. The medium of paintings was also in gold and vegetable colors or extracts of leaves where used as a medium. Cloth paintings were also a major display. This was the true and original form of art which was later modernized with durable boards and dependable sticking formulas.


Gold foil painting was a rich form of art where the painting was done on the 24 Karat gold foil after it was treated. The typicality of the paintings from Mysore is about a a definite and prominent look. The colors are green, red and blue which is again common in all parts of South India. The main idea about Mysore paintings was the gesso concept which highlighted certain areas of the painting. This included areas where the jewelry or certain metal work related to the idols needed attention.


Finishing lines were done in the last stage where the lines or features of the painting were highlighted. The palace at Mysore bears a lot of testimony to the great work put in by the painters of the yesteryears. The galleries also have several collections of paintings which still require a lot of encouragement to be continued as an art form. The Wodeyars were lovers of art and the impetus received by them was great. Though the art form has gained recognition, there is still a lot of reviving to be done by offering support to the artists.

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