THE WATERMARK OF GUJARATI ART: GLASS PAINTINGS

Posted: November 18, 2011 in Colors of Culture and Heritage, The NamoLeague Times
Tags: , , , , , ,

Now this is something most of us are not aware of. Glass painting in India originated in Gujarat in the eighteenth century, which was home to many glass painting artists from China. From Gujarat, the art form has spread to many corners of India.
Apart from its birthplace, what is it that makes glass painting so unique?

PAINT PERFECT

The glass paintings are noted for their thematic variety, sheer brilliance, stunning clarity and use of rich colors. They comprise of engraving laid down on the back of the glass and are painted from the reverse. The process requires immense skill and, as a genre, glass painting is extremely difficult for the sequence of steps followed when painting on an opaque surface, is reversed in painting glass.

The medium of glass provides the painter with something that no other mediums can – the light effect. This makes the paintings look truly delicate and beautiful.
Glass painting necessitates some proper methods that are followed by the artists. The artist first begins the picture and fills the outlines and finer details with the brush. After the completion of the painting, these lines appear on the top layer. To give a glittering look, the unpainted areas of the painting are pasted with gold or silver foil. Then the larger areas are filled in with opaque paints. These areas are generally given a flat finish and in some paintings shading techniques are used.

THEMES

The glass painting developed as the local painters incorporated their painting ideas and put them on glass by depicting popular stories, epic themes, portraits and icons on the glass paintings. This form of art became popular with the masses, as it was quite inexpensive. The artists used to make pictures of the rulers and aristocrats including their mistresses and dancing girls. The artisans of each region had a distinct technique and creativity that differ from one another, so is the case with Gujarat.

Be it any form of art, the religious themes always dominate in

Gujarat. Apart from them, incidents of daily life, court scenes, floral designs and portraits are common when it comes to glass paintings. Also, some of the glass paintings are embellished with gold leaf with the rich usage of bold and vibrant colors and semi precious stones that convey the creative magnificence of the skillful artisans. Sometimes the painting of a deity is surrounded within frames. The glass paintings of Gujarat stand out for their popular folk art traditions that are displayed in the art.

The painters also use dots, lines and patterns that are the empty space fillers in the picture and enhance the aesthetic appeal of the paintings.

ART, BUSINESS, PASSION IN INDIA

Glass painting is a booming industry, with its exports reaching out to almost all continents. The glass painting exporters’ community is growing by the day, which is a tribute to the mushrooming Indian talent in glass painting. By depicting eye-catching patterns and designs, they have reached out to a lot of buyers, who patronize Indian glass paintings, both in India and abroad. With a diverse segregation of painting cultures and the ultimate art, it is a small wonder that Indian glass paintings are among the most sought after in the world.

Apart from it being a business, the youth see it as a line of study. Several courses for glass paintings are offered and special degrees are given by Fine Arts colleges.

But what sets Gujarat apart is, the artists here pursue glass paintings not just as an art or business, but as a passion. The language of the artistic glass paintings is expressive, lively and intelligible. The glass paintings deserve to be placed as the antique articles for the lucid designs and immense craftsmanship.

Read original article at: http://epaper.namoleague.com/EpaperArticle.aspx?title=The%20Watermark%20Of%20Gujarati%20Art:%20Glass%20Paintings_568

Picture Credit: http://akshata.wordpress.com/

 

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