“Art and love are the same thing: It's the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.” ~ Chuck Klosterman
It's the season for celebrating love, or well , it's always the season for celebrating love and even more so with art - taking a look at some beautiful folk and traditional art, where artists celebrate romance in their paintings.
The Ethereal Love of Radha Krishna Paintings
The exuberance of Radha and Krishna has been the source of illumination for musicians, artists, poets and even writers. The beguiling affection of the two has been praised and followed for ages. From traditional to contemporary, the epitome of eternal love has always been celebrated as the idea of divine love and dedication.
With time, their tale showered the world with the knowledge of divine unification between the Jivatma and Paramatma – the individual self and the universal self. Radha Krishna’s love story is the most beautiful example of the “supreme emanation of divine vibrations.”
In folklore, when Lord Krishna was about to leave Vrindavan, Radha asked, “why can’t you marry me?” and then Lord Krishna looked at her and responded, “you need two souls to be married and since you and I are the same, how could I marry you?” This phrase is evidence of the intensity of Radha and Krishna’s relationship.
When Lord Krishna was present in Vrindavan, he would meet Radha in the forest of Vrindavan in the evenings and would engage in various pastimes known as 'lilas'. The love between Radha and Lord Krishna is celebrated as the purest form of love, as it is the love between the embodied soul and the universal soul, according to scriptures.
The Beauty of Ardhanareeswara Paintings
Ardhanareeswara is a combination of three words “Ardha,” “Nari,” and “Ishwara” means “half,” “woman,” and “lord,” respectively, which when combined means the lord whose half is a woman. It is believed that the God is Lord Shiva and the woman part is his consort Goddess Parvati or Shakti. The seed of this creation is the perfect conjugal union of Shiva and Parvati, the symbols of domestic bliss, asceticism and destruction.
It conveys the unity of opposites in the universe. The male half stands for Purusha and the female half is Prakriti. Ardhnarishwar is complete because the Masculine experiences Feminine by being physically fused with it and vice versa. It also symbolizes attunement with your own feminine/masculine angles. Together, they are at once the symbol of individual perfection and the magnificent harmony that a compatible wedding brings.
Happiness in relationships stem from inner joy and fulfillment; one cannot expect a partner to make up for a lack that comes from deep within. The Ardhnarishwar is this innermost fulfillment that opens one up to all the beauties that previously went unnoticed.
The Lovers exhibited in Madhubani Paintings
The Madhubani painting style, also called Mithila painting because of its origin in the historical region of Mithila, is widely practiced in the state of Bihar. Approximately 2500 years old, it is considered to have been used to chronicle Rama and Sita’s wedding, the artists having been commissioned by Raja Janaka; hence its name of ‘Mithila painting’ as well.
The wind carries the call of the lovers, the male and female bird, both perched under the tree of happiness, searching for one another- so near, and yet so far. In the Mithila traditions of Madhubani, a pair of peacocks symbolizes love and companionship.
The budding romance of Babu Biwi Paintings
Started by the patuas of Kalighat temple, this Patachitra, unlike other folk arts, did not emerge in the rural parts of India, inspired by the simple life. With a spoonful of vices, it depicts the flawed and illicit lives of urban dwellers; the simple joys wrapped in semi-expensive carpets, all in the pursuit of maintaining a lifestyle of the emerging population of the Indian middle class.
The set of Babu Biwi (husband-wife) paintings hand painted in Kalighat style by the artist Manoranjan Chitrakar portrays the budding love and romance in a marriage.
~ Written by Khushi Daryani