Krishna Mathura Gaman

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Artist: Narottam Narayan Sharma
Year: Early 1900s
Medium: Oleograph
Size: 23.5 x 31 inches (Framed)
Signature: Bottom Right


A dynamic oleograph of “Krishna Mathura Gaman” by the artist Narottam of Nathdwara. Printed in Germany in the early 1900s, the image was published by Brijbasi & Sons, Bunder Road, Karachi (before partition).
This beautiful image depicts the gopis trying to prevent Krishna from going to see his evil uncle Kansa in the city of Mathura, as they fear for his safety. Two gopis are pulling at the back of the chariot, others are begging Krishna not to go and still more are holding the reins of the horses to try and prevent him from leaving. Krishna’s brother Balarama stands in the back of the chariot.
Narottam Narayan Sharma (1896-1986 or 1992) was an Indian artist particularly known for his images of Krishna, which were popular throughout North India and were (some say) even more influential than the works of Raja Ravi Varma. His initial training was at Udaipur and he was an apprentice of Ghasiram Hardev Sharma. It is likely that, as with Ravi Varma, Narottam Narayan's training may have been influenced by landscapes in German and Austrian prints and postcards, from collections at the princely courts of Udaipur and Jhalawar. Murli Manohar, the most recognisable painting of Narottam Narayan, is said to be the best selling oleograph, and is part of the Metropolitan Museum collection in New York.
  • ABOUT Oleographs

    Oleographs, also called chromolithographs, are multi-colour art prints, stemming from the process of lithography. Pioneered in the 1830s, the process of producing oleographs came into wide commercial use in the 1860s. The technique relied on using several woodblocks or stones with colours for printing, while hand-colouring remained an important aspect as well. Depending on the number of colours present, an oleograph could take months to produce by very skilled workers. Poor preservation and cheaper printing alternatives have made oleographs hard to find. Today, they are mainly used as fine art.

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