Roy here depicts a much beloved story associated with the blue-skinned god Krishna. Yet while Shyam Devi painted this subject on paper (see the work to your right), Roy here employed woven palm fiber as his support. His adoption of indigenous materials like palm leaf, which was used in the production of Bengali manuscripts long before the introduction of paper to South Asia, was part of his larger enterprise to rehabilitate India’s pre-colonial artistic traditions. In a similar vein, Roy mostly dispensed with the European paints with which he had trained in favor of organic, locally sourced pigments derived from clay, tamarind seeds, and flowers. He also worked cross-legged on the ground or on a bench, in emulation of the Bengali patuas (itinerant artist-storytellers) whom he so admired.
animals; creatures; deities; Hinduism; narrative; patterns; snakes
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