Thursday, January 23, 2014

Religious Indian art goes spiritually symbolic.

         We believe we are an entirely new generation of artists, with all new sensibilities acquired in this new Millenium. However when it comes to art, we are still very deeply rooted in our age old traditions. If not mimicking or following it entirely, we are still strongly influenced by the cultures and traditions of our land or even by the master artists of the bygone eras. We all have our source of inspirations and then what we connect with the most, we depict it on our canvas or express it through our own choice of media.

The history of Fine Art in India, has predominantly seen the influence of Hinduism - the product of the fusion of the Aryan culture with a healthy helping of  the Dravidian culture, which may possibly also include a dash of the Indus Valley Civilisation too. The massive pantheon of Gods personifying natural powers came from the Aryans. Indra-the king of Gods, Varuna- the God of the oceans, Vayu or Marut-the God of the winds and so on and so forth. Through fusion with the earlier inhabitants of the Indian Peninsula, two primary Gods came to be chiefly propitiated, them being Vishnu & Shiva while the other deities slowly began to be given lesser importance. 

ARTIST: Sampath Kumar 
SIZE: 12” X 12”
MEDIA: Acrylic on Canvas Board 

Fanaticism consequently brought a major divide leading to the formation of two main sects. The cult following through personal devotion came to be known as Vaishnavites & Shaivites. Each camp of artists adopted their own iconography. Lord Siva has thus been depicted ever since time immemorial with the typical Trident, the bull and the holy Lingam within the temple precincts. Also particular poses and gestures became significant like Lord Shiva's famous Nataraja-the Tandav dance stance, etc.

Including my own self, there are numerous artists that draw heavily on Hindu iconography. Each in their own style, and palette of vibrant colours appeal to our Indian sentiments. Over the years however its been strongly felt that people have risen over and above caste, creeds and sects and appreciate such mythological art for their artistic beauty and the vibrant warmth,it brings into the ambiance its placed at, also lending it a personality. 

According to artist Sampath Kumar his 2nd SHIVA series have been created with a strong preference for spirituality in its raw form than merely believing in the boundaries of country and religiousness. 

 Lord Siva has grown to be a universally accepted form liked by one and all, religion no bar. Paintings of Siva now reflect more of spirituality than religious symbolism alone.

 Sampath Kumar explains "I try to bring out the spiritual aspect of the subjects chosen and always try to understand light and sound, IN and around us. Inner peace is all I seek through ART.

"Art for me is the nearest doorway to unlock the mysteries of life." Sampath Kumar concludes.
ARTIST: Sampath Kumar 
SIZE: 12” X 12”
MEDIA: Acrylic on Canvas Board 


  1. Beautiful Paintings ! thanks for sharing the information, Vibhuti !

    1. Thankyou Manisha V, Its my pleasure to share the works of some very good talents we have around us..:)
      Waiting to share more of your work too over here..ATB


Artists are also performing for an audience and Art when appreciated is the acknowledgment of a person's attempt of self-expression. Your kind and constructive criticism is precious to us- the emerging artist and his humble curator!