MYSORE (Inde) - Reliving history through royal art


Reliving history through royal art

H M Aravind

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Intricate lines, delicate brush strokes and muted colours depicting Hindu gods and goddesses with a touch of lustrous gold leaf. Among the many things that have brought Mysore global fame, the art of Mysore painting occupies centre stage. However, the royal art is on the verge of extinct due to lack of patronage. Alarmed by this, the department of archaeology and museums has taken up the task of reviving Mysore painting.

The classical form of Mysore painting emerged from the grand legacy of paintings that Karnataka was witness to during the reign of the Vijayanagar kings starting 1336 AD. The rulers of Vijayanagar and their feudatories were game for literature, art and architecture leading to rise of Vijayanagar school of painting. Mysore painting, like Tanjore traditional painting is an off-shoot of the Vijaynagar school.

"The Mysore school of painting is in the danger of becoming extinct. We need to revive it," department assistant director H Gangadhar says. As an initial step towards reviving and preserving the art the department is hosting a workshop for kids on Mysore painting. The monthlong workshop, in which noted Mysore painting artist K S Srihari will take part as the resource person, aims at reviving public interest in the art and promoting it among art connoisseurs.

History has it that Raja Wadiyar rehabilitated several families of painters of the Vijayanagara School at Srirangapatna. His successors continued patronizing the art of Mysore painting by commissioning temples and palaces to be painted with mythological scenes. Historians have credited Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar, who ruled after the fall of Tipu Sultan in 1799 till 1868, of reviving the ancient tradition. Some of the noted paintings from the stable of Mysore painting belong to his reign. There are some at the Jagan Mohan Palace museum and the Mysore Palace, especially at the pooja room since they are designed to inspire devotion.