Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
I was incredulous when I saw these for the first time!
Why would anyone create a work of art on something so fragile?
It seems that paper was more expensive than mica in the late 1800s and so mica was a popular alternative.
As is to be expected, many have not survived time.
An example of a highly damaged piece where not only is the mica base chipped, but even the pain layers have chipped off.
It appears from the little research that I have done, that in majority the mica paintings, the subject is ‘Indian tradesmen’ or Indian costumes’. These come in sets with each individual painting depicting a particular identity. (Roughly 5 inches tall)
But there are a few others that depict scenes. These are larger and rare. Following are some from the Wovensouls Collection:
1. A wedding procession
2. Scene of Procession of Jagannath Yatra at Puri
3. Scene of Johar or maybe Sati after a Battle
The fort in the background, the soldiers with their shields, the multiple battle-deaths as can be seen by another funeral procession coming towards the cremation ground … all bring off an insight into the custom that was prevalent in several parts of the country in the mid-1800s.
The paintings above are by the same painter and ones below by another.
4. A Court Scene
(Note the carpet & clothing detail!)
5. Scene depicting a royal elephant being trained
These are a pleasure to view and study as the details contained within each scene provide a glimpse into the culture that prevailed in the late 1800s when these were created.
One more enticing category of traditional art to keep us captivated and stimulated for awhile!!
#johar #padmavat #padmavati