Looking for Stories in an Oriental Painting

One Sunday morning, when I bought this old painting on an impulse, I just knew that it was a copy of some famous oriental painting.

The rich dress of the bride, the slave making a garland, patterns on the carpet, jewelry and other small details gave enough clues. That’s why I did not mind the price. After carefully bringing the painting inside the house, the researcher in me began to google.

And bingo, I found it – Preparations for the wedding of the Cherif’s daughter in Tangiers by José Tapiró Y Baró. The painter (1836 – 1913), was a Catalan painter; best known for his watercolor portraits from Morocco.

This was the original painting, which I found on Google. José Tapiró Y Baró was one of the first to settle in Tangier, Morocco, to find inspiration from day to day lives of the people there. These kind of vibrant paintings were quite famous at the time and his works, especially portraits were very detailed and intricate despite having water color as the medium.

The backdrop of the painting was the wedding preparation of the Cherif’s daughter. Cherif means Sultan or nobleman which means the bride in the painting belonged to a noble family.

The story captured in this painting took me to places in my imagination. Who was the groom of the Sultan’s daughter? What kind of life she had after marriage? She looked shy and demure in the painting. How was she in real life?

Look at the intent with which the slave is making a garland. What was the story of this slave?

And who was this maid adorning the bride? She has nice ornaments on which means she would be quite up in the hierarchy. She seems to be darkening the eyebrows of the coy bride, the Sultan’s daughter.

There are many more questions. But two questions baffled me about this painting. First, who was this figure? The Sultan himself, sitting on a chair?

Another most important question, for me, is – Why is the painting, which I bought, not signed? It is unusual because generally everyone loves to put their names on their works. And although my painting is a duplicate, still it seems to be done by some master artist, considering its beauty. But why has he not put his name there? Very baffling! Also, I had thought that my painting was done in Oil but I am having second thoughts now. I guess it is water color just like the original one.

For now, my search is still on! The painting definitely has many, many stories hidden in it. And I am loving the experience of unraveling the layers in this lovely work.

And you can help too! If you know anything about the painter or the painting, please let me know. I will be very grateful 🙏🏻

Advertisements

Small Things#19 – Mona Lisa through a Kid’s Eyes

The art room in my kids’ school has a Mona Lisa painting. The little one especially has great interest in the famous lady as he feels that her eyes moves around. So, a little conversation took place between us to decode Mona Lisa and here is what the four-year-old thinks of the painting.

Me – Is Mona Lisa happy or sad in the painting?

LO – She is creepy… no… wait, creepy-smiley. She is happy but looks creepy too. She is not sad at all.

Me – What do you think is her age?

LO – She is 56 year old grown up.

Me – What is the best part of her face.

LO – Her lips! It’s just a line. And her eyebrows are down touching her eyes. She is always staring but if there is a staring contest, I will win.

Me – What else?

LO – She is wearing black and has a dupatta (veil) and her skin is yellow. See, mine is tan. She is standing by a mountain.

Me – What is she thinking about?

LO – She is thinking of herself.

Me (showing the painting of Mona Lisa on phone) – Do you want her painting in your room?

LO – (Runs away) She is creepy…nooooooo!

Images courtesy Google

Expressing Shiv-Shakti!

Acrylic on wood strips lying around the house, enabled me to express Shiv Shakti – the divine couple (also symbolic of consciousness and energy), in my own small way on this auspicious day of Maha Shivratri.

I am discovering acrylic to be an excellent painting medium – bright and vibrant. It dries faster too unlike oils which takes longer. This is perfect for quickly creating something when creativity strikes. I have been thinking of making masks out of it. What do you think? Please suggest!

View From My Window

The view from my window, invited me to grab a brush and paint. So, I tried my hand on landscape painting, though portrait is my favorite. Also, the medium is acrylic, which is new for me because I am comfortable with oils or pencils. January means a lot of snow in Minnesota but this weekend, we experienced a hint of Summer, which was fabulous! The outcome was this work.

I just thought of sharing this with you. Hope you like it. Stay warm and happy!

Sridevi – My Muse

When I was a kid, Sridevi was my favourite face. The actress was everywhere – on magazine covers, newspapers and advertisements. And how I loved to draw her! My sketchbook had a lot of rough sketches of the beauty. She was an artist’s dream with large vivacious eyes and gorgeous demeanor. Her sudden, accidental death by drowning has left all her admirers in deep shock. Now, after so many years, I sketch her one last time as a tribute to her. #RIP Sridevi

From Chandraprakash to Chandramukhi

This Thermocol Mannequin Head in the hobby store, ‘Michaels’ caught my attention. It looked so inviting that I couldn’t resist buying it for $5. My little one, who loves naming everything, called it ‘Chandrapraksh’ for some reason. Chandraprakash stayed in the laundry room until yesterday when an idea struck me. And then the process of transforming Chandraprakash into Chandramukhi began in the basement.

Some acrylic paint, brushes and sketch pens were used to paint her face. And a flower sticker was attached to her neck.

A feather band was used as a headgear.

And finally she looked like this. Now, she sits prettily in a nice corner. This is my Chandramukhi!

But how would you decorate and transform your Chandraprakash?