The Angel with Fish
Vinod Bhardwaj never fails to bewitch the onlookers in the charm of his amazing brush strokes. In this painting, he encapsulates an obedient angel whose countenance is blessed with a sleek Greek nose and a deep cupid bow that extends over to its Bonnie Parker lips. His face is adorned with stunning wide and round eyes that are complimented by straight high arch eyebrows contrasting his plump and contoured face. His hair is centrally parted to reveal a bald spot that enhances the charcoal black hair as a plumage of snow white quills rise up in a cylindrical shape to depict a crown which is headed by a yam shaded shell.The heavenly creature is adorned in sketchy grey pleated stola possessing frilled wrists that go along with the creased chlamys, thus, hanging over his neck like a dupatta, while the upper toga is embellished with miniature water lilies and sunflowers that are wonderfully breathtaking. The majestic divine feathery wings that are plicated in fine folds and are alternatively tinted in hues of dusty chili red and cyber grape purple as they rise and fall with each movement in the thin air with the angel hovering as he lingers over an invisible air cushion. The entrancing being is ornamented in a double-layered brown beaded necklace and his foot is designed in a lovely henna which imitates the wooden brown globules.A pebble grey albacore tuna with remarkably illustrated fins and a rough body hangs in the delicate hands of the angel as he holds a thin rope that trespasses the fish's mouth. The backdrop is beautified with smooth river washed rocks and pebble stones that couple up with the fantabulous and awestriking floral motifs, emblazoning the canvas. The vibrant shades of steel blue and baby pink tinge the flower petals as lush green painted leaves stick out the brown stick like thin stems, attracting attention with these beautiful multiple plants that creeps up the elegant illustration.This painting is a perfect reminder of the bounty and splendor of God (in the face of a caught fish) who is the creator of all these divine beings, serving as a motivation towards worship for those who constantly keep wandering for the truth.
Watercolor on Paper
Artist Vinod Bhardwaj
6.0 inches X 8.2 inches
The Mughal school of painting runs parallel to the Mughal dynasty. It came into prominence in the sixteenth century, during the reign of king Akbar. It reached its zenith under the patronage of Akbar’s grandson – king Jahangir. The reign of the latter’s successor king Shah Jahan saw its decline and finally under the unsympathetic Aurangzeb it breathed its last. Indeed, as a school of art, the duration of Mughal painting was a limited one, extending only over approximately two and a half centuries. Actually, it has often been referred to as not exactly a school, but rather an exceptionally brilliant phase in Indian art.
The roots of Mughal painting lay in Samarkand and Herat, where under the patronage of the Timurid kings, Persian art reached its apogee. Babur, a descendant of Timur, and the founder of the Mughal dynasty, speaks of a person named ‘Bihzad’ as ‘a most eminent painter’. It was with the descendants of Bihzad and the deep personal interest taken by Akbar, the grandson of king Babur, that the Mughal school of art started off with a flourish.
Regarding the aesthetics of Mughal painting, one exceptional feature is its commitment to realism or the delineation of likeness. The subjects were majorly drawn from the extremely rich and magnificent court life under the Mughals. That this was a flourishing art during Akbar’s reign is borne out by the list of more than forty painters found in a book written during his era.
However, it was under Akbar’s son Jehangir that Mughal painting gained its highest peaks. Not only portraits and hunting scenes, but also scientific studies of botany and natural history found favor with the artists under the king’s support. The Mughal painters were asked to paint unusual specimens of flora and fauna in their exact likeness. Some of these skilfully painted pictures have survived till today, narrating to us the uniqueness of those rich times.
Under the reign of Shajahan, son of Jahangir, the Mughal school of painting entered its decline. The actual treatment of the subject matter is replaced with more decorative embellishments like rich flowery borders etc. Under Shahjahan architecture scaled new peaks (Taj Mahal etc.), but painting deteriorated. Finally, with the rise of Aurangzeb, Mughal painting breathed its last.