Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Of Mythological Art, Oleographs & Om from India

In India anywhere you look, you will find Indian Gods & Goddesses showing their omnipresence. Lined close to the ceilings on shops, arranged in shrines in the 'puja' room of homes, propped against seasonal bounty of fruit sellers, blessing the daily commute in buses, trucks and taxis. They are everywhere.

So how did the Gods come to be in the form we know them as today? 
In the late 19th century the pioneer artists and entrepreneurs in colonial India realized the potential in using technology to mechanically reproduce religious images for mass consumption.
Sarasvati. Hand-colored lithograph, c. 1880, Shew Cobind Lall, Calcutta

The traditional printing technique of Lithography was used, which is based on the principle of the immiscibility of water & oil and the printing is from a stone or metal plate with a smooth surface.

Bhairavi. Hand-colored lithograph, c. 1880. Calcutta Art Studio, Calcutta

The two earliest major publishers of God-prints were Calcutta Art Studio and Chitrashala Press. As early as 1878. 
Kali. Hand-colored lithograph, 1883. Calcutta Art Studio, Calcutta

 Rama Panchayatana. Lithograph, c. 1890, Chitrashala Press, Poona (Pune)

Gayatri. Lithograph, c. 1890. Chitrashala Press, Poona (Pune)

In 1894 South Indian Artist Ravi Varma & his brother Raja Varma got into publishing Lithographs of their work and his style became extremely popular and it still is!
Oleographs are Lithographs printed in oil colors on canvas or cloth and this style was made popular by Ravi Varma.
Shri Shanmukha Subramania. Lithograph, c. 1910. Ravi Varma Press, Karla-Lonavla

These Lithographs prints became hugely popular and were printed all over India with evolution of unique styles reflecting the culture of the place they were printed.

If you are keen on reading more about the history of the Lithographs from 19th Century to Post-Independence Gods in Print by Richard H Davis is a great reference.

Mark Baron & Elise Boisante are collectors of some of India's unique and rare 19th & 20th Century Lithographic Mythological prints. Om from India is their art collection. A background in printing technology, their deep interest in the ancient Lithographic history, their in-depth knowledge on the subject makes them connoisseurs in this field.

Mr. Husband has been a lithograph collector for many years and they had connected online based on their mutual love for the topic. So when our New York trip materialized in December 2016. Meeting them was one of the main priorities of the trip.

Their home is a space filled with art and books. Elise is a wonderful hostess and allowed me to quickly shoot few wonderful corners of their home.

Gods in Print by Richard H Davis feature many lithographs from Mark & Elise's Collection.

Beautiful curated art in the living room.

Wood Cut art.

Books and art.

Ganesha Collection.

Elise Boisante and Mark Baron.

Vibrant turban rolls add color and pattern.

Hope you liked this post about the amazing Mythological Art of India. The collectors and their art- filled New York home.

If you are a passionate collector or have great interest in Lithographs you can make an appointment with Mark & Elise to see their amazing collection and even buy certain unique prints.

You can follow Om from India on FB.

( Home Images by Arch and images of prints from Om from India, Reference Gods in Print by Richard Davis and are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission)


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Diwali: A tribute to Terracotta | The Red Clay

Hello Hello Hello.
6 months of being away from Rang Decor!
Anyway, I thought I'd drop by and share few frames from how we have decorated our humble abode for the arrival of Goddess Lakshmi.
This year's decoration is a tribute to the Terracotta, the red clay from which the 'Diya' or the earth oil lamps are made in India.
It is also dedicated to the artisans who work with the earth. Examples of which you can see in our previous home in Bangalore.

I have tried to incorporate terracotta in all aspects of decorating.

The Kum-Kum (Vermilion) holder as the prayer room gets ready for Lakshmi Pooja this evening.

She is omnipresent! Isn't she? Floated some button Chrysanthemums in terracotta urlis.

Long time Rang Decor readers might remember the antique Chettinad door in our Bangalore home flanked by traditional terracotta niche for placing oil lamps. Well, we had got extras made then which came all the way to Minnesota. 

The space got instantly transformed as I placed oil lamps in them.

Zoomed out view of our mantelpiece.

Ah! Floating fresh flowers in earthen Urlis is a classic.

 This wonderful terracotta oil lamp was a Diwali gift from my Mother-in-law few years back.

Goddess Lakshmi match box is a DIY project :-)

We have a corner in our home where we honour the deity whom we are celebrating. So for Diwali its a Tanjore painting of the Ashtalakshmi: 8 Lakshmis with Lord Venkateshwara in the centre.

The hanging brass lamps are from Ahmedabad, India.

The blue adds a wonderful contrast to the Terracotta. So I played around with table setting ideas with the colour combination. 

Wishing all readers of Rang Decor a very Happy Diwali filled with lots of love, happiness & health!
Have a great day with family & friends! ( ...and remember the loved ones not with us today)

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sultan Cave Suites | Goreme, Cappadocia | Turkey

Our trip to Turkey last November started with Cappadocia. Having seen the magical hot air balloons glide silently over a very unique landscape, put Cappadocia on our Turkey travel 'to-do' list.

We took a flight from Istanbul to Kayseri which is in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey. Within an hours drive from Kayseri is Sultan Cave Suites in Goreme, Cappadocia.

Having reached our destination in the night, we woke up to the wonderment of this nature's beauty!
The landscape of Cappadocia is made of volcanic rock formations which look like accordion patterns.

The the volcanic rock formations are very aptly called Fairy Chimneys. These structures over time have become dwellings by carving into the soft rocks. Today many such caves have become boutique hotels.

Sultan Cave Suites is one such cave hotel where one can experience the fairy chimneys nestled amongst volcanic mountains and valleys.

The gorgeous sunny terrace with breathtaking views.

Ismir the hotel dog soaking up the fall sunlight on a gorgeous kilim!

The cozy reception area where we sipped many cups of warm Turkish Apple Tea and enjoyed the view.

Just loved the rustic stone built structures and courtyard around the caves.

As night fell the surrounding area took on a surreal imagery.

The moonlight evening was savoured!

Entrance to our cave rooms...

Combination of wrought iron and stone...

We woke up early to go experience the highlight of our Cappadocia trip!

At dawn we watched the hot air balloons slowly fire up and rise up in the sky...

The magical scenes will ever be etched on my mind.

We sat there watching the balloons glide over to the other side of the valley and behind them the beautiful eastern Sun rise.

It really filled up my heart!

Cappadocia is a must visit site if you visit Turkey.

Do check out Sultan Cave Suites on Facebook.

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted)