Women In Indian Art
The Women in India have often played a regressive role in society. Bowing to the dictates of a predominantly patriarchal society, the woman was assigned the role of a homemaker, nurturer, a wife, a mother and at times a lover. Indian art and artists has mirrored the social status of women, which is why though most of Indian art does have women as the central theme, their portrayal is often one dimensional.
The Ajanta paintings are the most famous in the history of Indian art. Here too the ‘heroines’ of the works are portrayed as voluptuous temptresses, stressing in the fertility aspect in their ample curves. This trend is further elaborated in the Mauryan, Buddhist art styles… the ideal of female beauty was always the broad-hipped chil-bearing woman. If woman were ever depicted as having power it was always in the sexual sense-the sculptures of the women in Khajuraho frescos are assured and supremely confident in their sexuality. Yet, even in these depictions, we can glimpse the importance of women in Indian history and mythology.
In this exhibition on ‘Women in Indian Art’ the Allahabad Museum has displayed some of the finest work from its modern painting collection. In particular there is the spectacular painting ‘Sanvari’ which is one of the largest wash paintings in India. Similarly the work of the famous artist Jamini Roy in ‘Santhal Women’ is sticking. The exhibition is a tribute to women and their important role in the world.