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)