A painter of nature is not only de ned by his distinct way of looking but also by his distinct way of transcribing what he sees. It allows an artist like Ramachandran to engage with a motif like the lotus pond (or for that matter Cezanne with Mont Sainte-Victoire or Monet with his lily pond) year after year, decade after decade. It also makes both experience and language inexhaustible, both for the artist and his viewers. And like Cezanne’s mountain views and Monet’s water lilies, Ramachandran’s Lotus Ponds also do not preach, or teach, but invite us to engage deeply, to see, and to acknowledge.
The concept of the Ashta Nayikas is an ancient one, which has been represented for over a millennium in art, music and dance. Metaphysical matters have always been represented through the actions of the body and the emotions in Indian art, dance, music and poetry. The eight nayikas can be interpreted as eight moods of women, or at a more profound level, the eight emotions of a human being. The nayikas too, had to experience fearlessness and re ection to be liberated in order to become subversive subalterns.
So many bold and bright colours aesthetically co-exist because one colour exists as the common denominator in each painting which binds the entire composition together. This is the key to understanding an artist’s sense of nature and the alchemy of all the paints that he uses. Lighter shades like that of the earthern pot, the owers and butter ies bring radiance and cohesiveness to the stronger, deeper colours. Ramachandran’s palette is extensive and fearless liberated by experience and re ection.