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The Art Gallery of Mysore Painting

Mysore artworks are recognized for their graceful appeal, subtle hues, and meticulous craftsmanship. These paintings predominantly depict Hindu deities, goddesses, and narratives from Hindu mythology.

The Mysore style of traditional art, originating from the Ajanta and Badami caves in the early centuries A.D., reached its pinnacle during the Vijayanagar era (1347-1746). It gained its distinct identity in Mysore under the patronage of Wodeyar rulers, notably Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1794-1868). The artwork predominantly revolves around themes derived from epics and mythical legends, captivating a wide audience with its iconographic and narrative depictions. These exquisite paintings adorned palace pavilions, opulent residences, as well as Bhajana-mandiras where common folk congregated.

Artists created their masterpieces on board, cloth, and specially prepared paper using colors crafted indigenously from minerals, leaves, and flowers. Notably remarkable is their expert skill in utilizing gold – be it leaves or foil – alongside gesso work to add an extravagant touch to their creations. The techniques employed by Mysore artists are unique when compared to those prevalent in Tanjore. In essence, the Mysore style of traditional painting seamlessly integrates ancient influences with artistic innovation, resulting in visually stunning works that continue to captivate audiences worldwide.

In Mysore, the ancient artists took great care in creating their own materials for painting. They sourced colors from natural elements like plants and minerals such as leaves, stones, and flowers. Delicate work required brushes made with squirrel hairs, while superfine lines were achieved using a unique variety of grass with pointed blades. Thanks to the enduring nature of these stone- and plant-based pigments, the original Mysore paintings continue to retain their vibrancy and radiance even after all these years.



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The processional icon of Sampathkumara mounted on Garuda (Garudotsava) is the theme of this excellent painting. The composition inspires admiration. The green background is very effective that goes into the encircled iconic representation of the form of Vishnu that the Wodeyar family is devoted to. The figures are very neatly drawn, the colours are soft and sober.

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