Published in London 100 years ago, these Warwick Goble illustrations for a collection of stories from Bengal are too cute! This muted gold saree with an embellished black border (no choli necessary), is classically elegant.
Yes, they look a lot like Arthur Rackham’s fairy-tale drawings of the same era, but I love Goble’s interpretations of a mythic India. Black hair and a black saree paired with a dramatic red choli help draw the viewer’s eye in from the soft tints of the rest of the image. The entire book, with other charming illustrations, is available to read online.
This is an old commercial print, cheap and cute – slightly naughty too! When spring turns to summer heat, who doesn’t imagine cooling off, preferably in a fancy fountain with someone sexy? Is the artwork an allegory, despite the chap’s modern hair cut and everyday towel?
When I see today’s sarees, ultra sheer and occasionally wet, like trite Bollywood rain scenes, this is what I think about. Here the plain red border on the fashionably timeless, faintly dotted, saree is strategically draped. Our 1930s-esque (?) temptress is about to splash the dreamy-eyed man who modestly gazes just away from her.
I love the flat simplicity of this work by Amulya Gopal Sen Sharma on a postcard. Last evening I was admiring monumental art deco murals that were similar, but not as pure and plain as this image. Just a minimal border on most of the sarees, used to define the drape and convey a sense of three dimensions on delightfully two-dimensional shapes. Only a saree can be both completely flat and definine a rounded figure!
This looks more like an ad for a beauty product of some sort, but it was listed on eBay only as a postcard printed in Bombay. The artwork has a period charm not usually found after the 1930s or so. I like the subtle pattern on the saree that does not “clash” with a polkadot choli in a completely different color. Our lovely lady wears a red bindi and red lipstick, and adds reddish-pink flowers to the more traditional ornament in her marcelled hair.
A friend of mine recently found a painting that she loved – something about it that resonated with her. It was indeed a lovely painting of a women who seemed down to earth with just a hint of rebelliousness. The painting was signed “Abhijit Sen”, so I thought I’d try to find some more paintings by him.
Turned out that Abhijit Sen (which is a very common name) had copied from a panting of another master Subrata Gangopadhyay.
And when I saw the original of the same panting done by Subrata, I was awe struck! It had so much texture and depth and emotions in it!
He has a series of paintings with a “women” theme and each one of is exquisit.
Here are some that depict saree in a very fluid way.