When an artist creates a painting, it is the verbalisation of his/her inner experience or the reflection of societal happenings or a representation of eminent personalities or an imitation of some epic moments like war, courtroom scenes, etc. Indian paintings, being the epitome of versatility, has always attracted art lovers across the world. With rich cultural inheritance, Indian artists always had a plethora of themes to pick from.
Out of these, the expression of deities in a painting has remained one of the favourite themes for the artists. Impeccable artworks of Gods and Goddesses like Ram, Krishna, Shiva, Ganesha, Kali, Durga, etc have always pulled art enthusiasts to buy these paintings. And artists too, constantly obsessed by the gravity of this theme, keep on creating dazzling works.
I, who happens to be an agnostic and an artist, always felt the need to ‘make sense’ in things I write about. When I first heard the story of Krishna, it sounded to me like a pure fiction like the numerous fairy tales kids listen to. However, seeing that billions do believe in that tale always gave me “I need to understand it more” feeling.
Slowly and eventually, as I grew up, a few aspects of Krishna’s fiction started to make sense to me. Then I went further and examined why Krishna paintings are in high demand. What I saw was somewhat expected yet miraculous. I am saying this because Krishna artworks are visible today in homes, corporate offices, reputed hotels, colleges, and not in just the religious establishments.
What is Krishna?
Before we turn over to look at what actually entices such a colossal amount of people to buy the artworks of Krishna, let’s first have a clear understanding of what or who Krishna is or was.
Krishna is one of the most loved and praised deities that is worshipped across India. The story of Krishna might or might not be fictional but the message that the character of Krishna conveys is just phenomenal.
In spiritual term, Krishna is equivalent to consciousness. He was a lover, a son, a warrior, a brother, a husband, a king, and a devoted friend. People see Krishna as the jack of all trades. Krishna also played a significant role in the epic battle of Mahabharata.
Krishna paintings: The comprehension
You might have seen various kinds of paintings that represented Lord Krishna. Some of them might be depicting Krishna as a kid, while others may be showing Krishna riding a Chariot with Arjun. Apart from this, Paintings of Radha and Krishna are also extremely popular.
The diverse paintings of Krishna represent his unique qualities. For example, as a kid, Krishna was extremely mischievous but in an adorable manner. He used to steal butter from homes and used to tease the women around. But amidst all these naughtiness, he was brave, focused, and a dutiful son too. People hang these pieces in their kid’s room.
One of the most bought paintings of Krishna is the one in which he was riding a chariot with Arjun in Mahabharata. As per Hinduism, this was the moment when Krishna recited ‘Bhagwad Gita’ the holy verse to Arjun. As per philosophers and religious scholars, Gita comprises all the solutions of human grievances. Great Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Bal Gangadhar Tilak adapted Gita’s call for the selfless act as their life’s principle. So, the painting of Krishna in this perspective can be seen in a lot of homes in India. People buy these art pieces because they want to bring sovereignty and harmony guided by Krishna in their homes.
The third and the most compelling of all types is the Krishna paintings where Radha is also there. Radha Krishna artworks are perhaps quite stimulating for the art lovers. Whether you love art or not, you would have surely heard the story of everlasting love between Radha and Krishna. Even today, the statues of Radha Krishna are worshipped in the temples. But why so? Considering the fact that Krishna was not even married to Radha, why are these artworks so much in demand?
It was because of the intensity and the purity that resided in the love of Radha and Krishna. The story goes like this; Krishna was 10 years younger than Radha. When Radha first time saw Krishna, she immediately fell in love with his charm and charisma. In fact, everyone, who interacted with Krishna once used to get attracted and charmed by his personality. Moving on, it is said that when Krishna played the flute, several gopis used to get enchanted by the magical symphony. Radha was one of them. Radha and Krishna fell in love with each other. However, when Krishna was about to leave Vrindavan, Radha wanted to stop him. Seeing this, Krishna told Radha, “I cannot marry you as marriage is a union of two souls and you & I are two parts of one soul”. They both parted away and married different person but the love and the attachment never ended.
This why Radha Krishna paintings are so popular.