A neatly wrapped painting in one of the shelves at home keeps begging for a place to be put up . It has been two years since I purchased a Kangra painting and I still haven’t found the perfect place to do justice to this fine piece of art.
I was rambling around near the Kotwali market in Dharamsala and had nothing specific in mind when I noticed a board about a museum and decided to take a look. The building looked deceptively small to be called a museum and I wasn’t sure if going in would be a good idea.
Not wanting to head back to the hotel , I finally decided to take a chance and that was my entry into the world of Kangra art and Pahari miniature paintings.
The artists in the workshop area were friendly and let me linger around , asking them questions and watching their paint brushes unfold magic. They took pride in their work and were gracious enough to explain a little about this particular style of painting in a way that I could understand.
These paintings were patronized by the Rajput Kings and reflected varied aspects of their royal lives. Lord Krishna is often depicted in the paintings and the artists also showed me some of their paintings which featured Radha and Krishna .
Nature is depicted in all its glory with details of minute leaves and flowers and some of the paintings had erotic themes too. There was an element of green in almost all of their works and that is what prompted me to ask them if they had any paintings for sale. Luckily , there were a few and I found one that I loved .
I know it is silly to have it still wrapped and waiting for a place of pride in my house , but special pieces of art need a special place . I hope I don’t take forever !
— that mishmash