Saturday, November 9, 2013

Painting a Woman in the Nude* 75

 As a youngster, I did have some talent to paint. More important my uncle Parduman was an excellent painter. It is a sad story that he died unsung and unheralded, but he was the man who ingrained in me the ethos of the art culture. Though I gave up painting, yet my interest in painting remained. My uncle also showed me the beauty of the female form.
I remember as a young boy, just growing up when he took me to an art class in the art school at Mumbai where a nude woman was being sketched by at least a dozen artistes.  The girl a darkish lady sat with bowed head and closed thighs as the artistes sketched her( including 3 lady students). There was no voyeurism involved and  everything appeared a clinical affair.
But now I can say that painting a nude is certainly not a clinical affair, but a labor of love and the expression of creativity. that is perhaps the reason that artistes like Amrita Shergill, jatin das,  Raja Ravi  Varma  in India and Dali and Picasso abroad have painted nudes. I remember in school we were taken to an art exhibition by the Russian painter Roerich.  He had a wonderful collection of nudes in the exhibition, which for all of us was a novelty.
The ancient Greeks and Indian all pained the female in the nude. perhaps while painting a nude an invisible spark emanates from an artistes brush. This can be the only reason that painter after painter has painted or sculpted nudes.
Lastly my uncle also had painted a nude and he showed it to me. I never asked who she was, she was certainly not my aunt.  Painting a nude is an expression of genius and everybody cannot rise to that level.