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(decorative art)
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  • The Illustrated folio from Kalpasutra shows Tirthankara seated with apsaras. Kalpasutra deals with Panchkalyanakas, the five most auspicious events in the life of a Tirthankara- birth, lustration, renunciation, enlightenment and nirvana - salvation. Among the earliest surviving illustrated paper manuscripts in India are a copies of the jain manuscripts of the Kalpasutra or book of Ritual. The Kalpasutra is a canonical text of the Shvetambara white clad Jains written by Acharya Bhadrabahu in the 4th cent. B.E. It is the biographical account of Mahavira and other Tirthankaras or spiritual teachers of the Jainas, generally read and recited by devotees during their ten days of fasting known in Rajasthan in the month of Bhadrapada,(August and Sept.) The style of illustration is characterized by rigid and exaggerated sharpness and the use of monochromatic colours particularly lapis lazuli blue, gold, black and white. Jain patrons of the 15th century preferred very opulent illustrations richly painted in gold. A particularly stylistic feature is the eye that protrudes from the face in the three quarter profile.
  • Baluchari sari is the traditional silk or brocade sari of Bengal which gets its name from the small village of Baluchar near Murshidabad where it originated. The twisted silk warp has heavy silk as weft often in contrast colours. It has a violet ground decorated with floral buta. This woven silk brocade sari decorated with floral design on purple ground. Fabric like this uses silk alone to create a luxurious fabric. Murshidabad was an important centre for these elegant types of silk weaving. The centre of the pallu or anchal is profusely decorated with European couple enjoying the steam engine tram journey, which must have been a novelty at that time and four large floral motives. The repeating floral motif is typical of the lotus style used in all media including textiles; this type of design was much admired by royal Bengal society especially design reformers for its simplicity and restraint.
  • The artist carved a beautiful ivory piece on exposition of Gita, where Lord Krishna driving the chariot of Arjuna in the war of Kurukshetra, where the Pandava prince Arjuna is filled with doubt on the battlefield that his enemies are his own relatives, beloved friends, and respected teachers. He put down his bow and arrow and turned back to his charioteer, guide Krishna for advice. Responding to Arjuna's confusion and moral dilemma, Krishna explains to Arjuna his duties as a warrior and prince, elaborating on a variety of philosophical concepts. Krishna explains about the different Yogic and Vedantic philosophies, with examples and analogies. This has led to the Gita often being described as a concise guide to Hindu philosophy and a practical self contained guide to life.
  • The high, elegant huqqa is richly ornamented with silver enamelled work. The method of enamelling employed in India is called the champlev√©. In this process, the metal is engraved or chased to provide the metal is engraved or chased to provide the necessary depressions in which the enamel colours are applied and heated. The most finely inlaid enamelling huqqa with seven parts and long chains and gold zari pipe gives an aristocracy look with royal grandeur. The surface decoration consists of colourful flowers, leaves and animals patterns, the entire achieving an exceptional impression of the decorative art. The body of the huqqa is richly ornamented with fine blue green and yellow colours. The piece is decorated with floral sprays and creepers minakari work in silver. The base metal of huqqa is silver on which intricate enamelling is executed. Fine eight chains are hanging from the chillim as well as pieces of silver enamelled parts in well synchronize. The most attractive parts of the huqqa are its gold threaded pipe and gold mouth piece.
  • This is an episode from the udyoga Parvan of Mahabharata. As the story goes, Rukmini the charming and beautiful daughter of Vidarbha king Bhishmaka was forced by her brother Rukma to marry Shishupala, the cruel ruler of Chedi, Rukmini, who was an incarnation of Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, wanted to marry Krishna. She arranged to send her messenger with a letter to Krishna, explaining her helplessness against the wishes of her brother. The painting illustrates Rukmini, bedecked with yellow ordni and green and blue dress writing the letter. The room illuminated by a lamp. She is trying to inform him that she would be visiting the Devi temple as part of the marriage ritual. Krishna responded to the message and rescued her from Shishupala.
  • Atisa Dipankara is seated on a lotus throne covered the top of the asana with a tiger shin in padmasana posture. His hands are placed on the chest shows vyakhyana- mudra or teaching gesture. He is flanked by the basket of spiritual food and the Tripitaka scriptures on discipline of general transcendental teachings and a chorten illustrates the spread of Buddhism. He was the senior teacher at the great Indian Buddhist University of Vikramsila.
  • Vajravarahi is the consort of Cakrasamvara, who represents the Samvaratantra doctrine. She is dancing on a full bloomed lotus throne. Her left foot set on the upper abdomen of a human body. She is in tantrika dancing posture with her right leg raised. Lower part of the body is draped with an animal skin. She always represents her as a naked appearance. She wears a garland of severed human heads, bone ornaments and human skull crown. The face is fierce and quite unlike the general trend with the third eye. It is a tutelary deity with two legged and two armed dancing divinity holding chopper or khatavanga in his right hand while a human skull cup placed on left palm and the upper part of the body is uncovered. Only a scarf is draped on the shoulder. A narrow flaming halo is also covering her body. She is protector of purity and is the personification of female energy. Holy water vessel is a vase contains water or something, which is able to place a devotee in the Amrtaloka where death cannot enter. The white jade container or water vessel is placed on a copper gilded stand and the crystal lid mounted with metal band shows beautiful carvings. It only helps in emphasizing the water cosmology associated with the amrta-kalasa.
  • 'Turkey Cock' with well decorated 'Hasia' or side borders by artist Ustad Mansur. The illustrated folio on an album page presents a Turkey Cock, with puffy feathers, attractive colour contrast and plumage . The fine, accurate, sophisticated and minute draughtsman ship along with the light delicate landscaping background reveals that this is a work of master artist. The scene is laid in a beautiful ambience with soft and controlled lines inherent realism and vibrant colours used by the artist make the painting very lively.
  • The painting represents the spring festival being enjoyed by Krishna and his cowherd companions with Gopis (milk maids) of Vraja. Krishna and Radha are the central attraction spraying colour on each other. Some are engaged in rubbing the colour powder or gulal on faces. The gaiety and festivity of the occasion is further enhanced by music and songs as several persons carry the musical instruments with them. The back ground shows trees and the blue sky.
  • This painting presents Siva, the archer. Lord Siva is riding on a bull, shooting with arrow, against the red background. It reflects an unique sensitivity, which interprets the strength of Lord Siva. The composition of painting shows the delicacy of lines with dramatic and naturalistic execution of the skilled traditional Pahari painting.