The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM

Notes on Culture & Antique Art, Ethnic Decor & Vintage Fashion | Wovensouls Art Gallery

The Life of an Old Thangka

Thangkas that were once in active use for worship hung in high places inside monasteries. They are exposed to butter-lamp vapors over decades.The inside of a monastery is filled with … Continue reading

June 26, 2019 · Leave a comment

Learning History through Art – Sikh Rule in Kashmir

Exploring an example of Sikh influence in Kashmir through illuminated paintings in the Kashmir school from a Bhagavat Gita manuscript written in Sikhi Gurmukhi script

March 12, 2019 · 1 Comment

Boats of Eastern India, 1800s – Company School Paintings

Seen on an auction site, these paintings give us a glimpse of the lifestyle of those times. To pursue the characters that lived these lives, watch the Netflix original series … Continue reading

January 11, 2019 · Leave a comment

Chinese Paintings on Ailments

The last thing I expected to find in a medical centre is art that might arrest my attention. But here I am between tasks finding myself searching for the wall … Continue reading

November 19, 2018 · Leave a comment

Veneration of Human Spirit – Jain Painting

Heroic act spellbind us. And spur us on to do more, to push ourselves a little bit more and to give life the very best of ourselves. In Bombay, there … Continue reading

November 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Washing Shawls in 1867

An antique Indian miniature painting from the Kyburg exhibition catalog (1988) depicts the washing of shawls The 1867 painting is possibly from Lahore, Such a treat to get  a glimpse … Continue reading

September 23, 2018 · 3 Comments

Rare Antique Company School Mica Paintings

In the early-mid 1800s Mica paintings were produced as souvenirs in Murshidabad, Patna and Benares in eastern India and Trichinopoly in South India. They imitated paintings on glass. Mica, a transparent … Continue reading

August 17, 2018 · 3 Comments

Fierce Deities!

A character that is not pleasant or all goody-goody has an appeal that is perhaps stronger! The glimpse of something fiesty, something temperamental, something strong with overtones of bold confidence … Continue reading

July 5, 2018 · Leave a comment

Along came a Ganjifa Set…

And took my sleep away! Why are these little artworks so attractive? Or elusive? A complete set consisting of 120 cards is very very rare! The odd card is seen … Continue reading

June 25, 2018 · 1 Comment

Breathtaking Monastery Art

First, the altitude in the Himalayas makes me breathless and then the paintings in the monasteries take my breath away! Each monastery has so much to offer the vision that … Continue reading

May 26, 2018 · Leave a comment

Painting Seen on a Wall in Nomadic Chanthang

Contemporary Art is one area that Dies not appeal to me.  But this painting seen on a wall  spike to me enough to want to cluck it and shate ut … Continue reading

May 25, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ancient Cave Paintings in Sasphol

13th Century Sasphol Caves, Ladakh Went up a mountain to see the magnificent Buddhist cave paintings. Worth every huff and puff. The big achievement was the small journey out of … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Visit to Phyang Monastery

Sat still within the ancient halls with only a young monk in attendance. Time passed unmarked by minutes and seconds. What do these matter when the walls have seen centuries!  … Continue reading

May 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ganjifa Playing Cards – Art of Sawantwadi

I remember spending all my summers playing various games all day long! We were about 12-15 boys and girls of various ages living in a neighbourhood of 5 buildings and … Continue reading

May 1, 2018 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Painting of a Weaver – 1800s

Some art to refresh the soul!

March 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

An Indian Painted Narrative Scroll

Supposedly this is an old Bengal painted narrative scroll called Patta. Does this have the same rustic character as that of other Bengal Pattuas? Doesn’t the finesse of each element … Continue reading

February 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Painted Map of Benaras – Indian Art

A pilgrim’s map of Benaras with the Kashi Vishwanath temple at the centre. Seen in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London Feb 2018 jaina mishra| wovensouls View more Exquisite Antique … Continue reading

February 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

The Irony of my tiny Astrological Thangka Collection

It is ironical and even absurd that my journey in collecting Tibetan material began from being impressed by their ideology of renunciation of material wealth! The life seen in Tibet … Continue reading

January 27, 2018 · Leave a comment

A Kalamkari Coverlet – Antique Indian Textiles

A visit to any museum can be exhausting and the maximum I can handle is about 1 – 2 hours of exposure. In any given hall there are always too … Continue reading

January 23, 2018 · 2 Comments

The Bridal Sari of the erstwhile Queen of Sawantwadi 1922

I’ve seen a dozen or so amazing  antique zari  saris but none has been as unusual as this one seen in the museum of Sawantwadi, This shalu – a zari … Continue reading

December 27, 2017 · 6 Comments

Museum of Raja Ravi Varma’s paintings

In Trivandrum in the old city area one of the buildings in the museum complex houses several paintings by Raja Ravi Varma. Photography is not allowed inside so for my … Continue reading

December 14, 2017 · Leave a comment

Tales the Phra Malai Thai Manuscripts tell!

It will be years before I will be able to understand all the stories contained in the few Phra Malai manuscripts that I’ve seen! Some are stories from the life … Continue reading

September 17, 2017 · Leave a comment

Science & Art in the Tibetan Astrological Calendar Sidpaho

Predicting the future and fortunes of an individual based on the movement of the planets across the reference matrix of the constellations, presupposes knowledge of astronomy. With very few instruments … Continue reading

August 22, 2017 · Leave a comment

Antique Cheriyal Painted Scroll – Art for Oral Traditions

In  South Indian Paintings  – A catalogue of the British Museum collection, A. L. Dallaiccola notes  “Although in the past the majority of Indian people might have been illiterate, they … Continue reading

May 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

A Yao Ceremonial Mask

On a trip in 2009, I got this Yao mask from back of the bottom drawer of a store owned by an elderly couple. The beautiful woman and I shared … Continue reading

May 5, 2017 · Leave a comment

Variety of Textiles within Antique Yao / Zhuang Ceremonial Scrolls – 2

Continuing to study the diversity in the two Yao paintings, with a focus on costumes in this note. In each do take note of the composition of the costume – … Continue reading

April 26, 2017 · Leave a comment

Pattua Singing from Bengal

In Bengal, in the olden days, in order to disseminate the holy stories, folk legends adn perhaps even news of major events, Pattua scrolls were used. Women first painted out … Continue reading

August 18, 2016 · Leave a comment

Memories of a Sublime Experience – Balinese Art

Memories of a sublime art experience in Bali

July 11, 2016 · 4 Comments

Antique Thai Calendar Paintings

The logic of the twelve Thai Zodiac signs follows the logic of Chinese zodiac signs and defines a person’s fortune based on the  ‘year’ or birth rather than the ‘month’ … Continue reading

June 24, 2016 · 2 Comments

Antique Ayuthaya Paintings – Available for Sale

One more style of painting – one more delectable recipe that makes the senses dance int his ongoing visual feast – Ayutthaya paintings from Thailand. The subject matter relates to … Continue reading

May 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

Daily Art Fix – Warli Paintings on Dung

The original idea was to use the cow dung walls of homes as the medium to paint on using white pigment made of rice & gum. Then at some point … Continue reading

May 10, 2016 · 3 Comments

18th Century Transport!

Painting of 18th century transport:   Offered by Tremont Auction House. Sold for US$1300 (2016)     jm March 2016  

March 22, 2016 · Leave a comment

Textiles in Ancient Balinese Paintings

Life is full of choices and the worst challenges are choosing between two bad choices or between two good choices. Shall I buy a painting or a textile? Shall I … Continue reading

January 14, 2016 · 2 Comments

External Article – Ajanta Cave Murals

An article by William Dalrymple on the magnificent murals  inside the 31 caves of Ajanta, India, created between the 1st / 2nd century B.C. and 5th century AD. Click here … Continue reading

July 10, 2015 · Leave a comment

DAILY ART FIX – AN ARTWORK A DAY

An addict constantly needs a fix to keep him stable. Me – in moments of extreme stress I find solace & peace in viewing works of traditional art. In normal … Continue reading

July 7, 2015 · 3 Comments

Book of the Month – June 2015

This landmark book on the subject is now on its way to me. Cannot wait to read it!

June 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

Auctions of Interest – Bonhams June 9, 2015

Islamic & Indian Art June 9, 2015 Offering a treasure-filled catalogue that made me stop at several lots of paintings, manuscripts and objects  – a deeper look is bound to … Continue reading

May 21, 2015 · Leave a comment

Daily Art Fix – Persian Manuscript Covers

PAIR OF OLD PERSIAN PAINTED MANUSCRIPT BOOK COVER BINDINGS – LACQUERED PAPIER MACHE See more pictures here

May 13, 2015 · Leave a comment

A Glimpse of Heaven | Antique Yao Paintings

Imagine a small community of two million people spread across a few thousand kilometers, living a life that straddles two radically different worlds – the life of their ancestors and … Continue reading

April 12, 2015 · Leave a comment

My first lesson in Fine Art

Having never ventured into the world of fine art – modern or classic, I was tentative about the subject. What if I did not understand anything, what if I did … Continue reading

January 10, 2015 · 2 Comments

Matisse & Textile Art

An interesting article about the connection between Paintings & Textiles…. after all it is all about art! LINK TO WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE jm Sep 2014

October 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Textiles in Ancient Jain Kalpasutras

Sharing the diverse range of gorgeous textiles seen in ancient Jain manuscripts from India

September 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

An Offering of Art for Goddes Durga – Madhubani Painting from Mithila

A vintage Madhubani painting from Mithila depicting several forms of Goddess Durga   Drawn using a pen-type instrument with clean strokes, this painting is about 30-40 years old. A totally … Continue reading

August 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

Auctions of Interest

Some beautiful pieces that caught my eye in the upcoming auctions: 1.Miniature Painting, Rajasthan | Treasures of Asia | Auctionata | Sept 4th, 2014 2. India, photographs – Indian textiles … Continue reading

August 20, 2014 · Leave a comment

Jatripatti – Antique Traditional Paintings of Puri, Odisha

This style of painting that has a subject focus of the temple of Lord Jagannath at Puri, India, is now extinct unfortunately. Hindus have four important pilgrimage spots -known as … Continue reading

August 11, 2014 · Leave a comment

Ancient Art Motifs of Egypt

As I walk through the exhibits in the museum, it occurs to me that the Egyptian tombs were treasure troves not only of gold but also of art. The objects … Continue reading

June 29, 2014 · 2 Comments

Textiles within Textiles

Am studying my Phad (Par) textiles and enjoying the complex scenes painted in. There are two types of Phads: one narrating the legend of Pabuji and the other narrating the … Continue reading

May 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

Welcome to Jaisalmer Homes

Art mixed with daily living, art created within the home, art that cannot be separated from the people or purchased – that art evokes a unique fascination and respect. Indian … Continue reading

April 11, 2014 · 1 Comment

Living with Art – A Home in rural Rajasthan

On a highway outside Jaisalmer, driving at 80kmph, I spot an artistically decorated walled enclave. The driver is instructed to stop. He is first confused about my request to visit … Continue reading

April 2, 2014 · 2 Comments

Umaid Bhavan Palace Museum – Paintings

Paintings are all two-dimensional and we view them in the plane that is perpendicular to the plane in which both our eyes lie. So if a painting is mounted on … Continue reading

March 24, 2014 · 2 Comments

Salar Jung Museum – Indian Miniature Painting Collection

The best places to train the eye in any category of art or antiques, are museums and reputed dealers. In a single location a diverse set is viewable. In most … Continue reading

March 4, 2014 · Leave a comment

Salar Jung Museum – The Mughal Glass Collection

Mughal Glass constitutes a very prominent landmark in the history of glass in India. Under the reign of Akbar glass factories flourished but the best examples of Mughal glass were … Continue reading

March 3, 2014 · Leave a comment

Antique Paintings on Mica

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 … Continue reading

February 12, 2014 · 5 Comments

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights |Antique Yao Paintings

Pair of Yao Ritual Paintings. This set from the Kin Mun Yao of Northern Vietnam and is of significant age. Microscopic examination of the paper reveals an unfamiliar fabric like … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Wovensouls ‘Vanishing Cultures’ Exhibition Highlights | Rare Awadh Shield

A very rare shield. March 7, 8, 9   | 10am – 7pm The Arts House, (Old Parliament) | Singapore. MORE DETAILS : ‘VANISHING CULTURES’ – An Exhibition of Cultural Photographs … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

Puri Pattachitra – Art from the Past – Addendum

The Puri Pattachitra has delighted me once again! Presenting another work of art from Orissa, depicting the Jagannath temple of Puri. The pictures – taken on my iphone in a … Continue reading

February 10, 2014 · 1 Comment

Art in Jain Cosmology – Painting of Loknar or Lok Purush

Every religion has its own set of beliefs but few have their beliefs manifested prolifically in art forms as Jainism (& Buddhism). Conveying the philosophy is paintings and drawings on … Continue reading

February 7, 2014 · 2 Comments

An evening of learning with a Guru : Shri Jagdish Mittal

A few years ago, when I acquired some old paintings that I knew nothing about but loved enough to acquire, I was directed to speak with Shri Jagdish Mittal from … Continue reading

January 12, 2014 · Leave a comment

The Appeal of Art – What and Why

This answer is different for each of us. My answers is here: The type of art that appeals to me has revealed itself to me over the years. Across the … Continue reading

January 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Costumes from Mongolia – A Peep into the Past

A discussion on a forum board opened my eyes to the details that form part of the background of paintings. In this particular case, the forum discussed rugs in the … Continue reading

December 19, 2013 · 7 Comments

Intriguing Balinese Calendars – Palindon & Palelintangan

In a world with so many different cultures with divergent ideologies and beliefs, naturally there are as many ways to mark the passage of time and predict fortunes. I studied … Continue reading

December 6, 2013 · 5 Comments

The Sacred Art of Mata Ni Pachedi

An article published on Jozan.net on Aug 21st, 2013. Please click below to view the article. The Sacred Art of Mata Ni Pachedi jm Aug 21, 2013

August 22, 2013 · 1 Comment

Wall Art of Rural Rajasthan

Dedicated to those mistaken souls for whom ‘rural’ implies ‘poor’  or ‘undeveloped’ or ‘in-need-of-upliftment’. May the following pictures give them reason to modify their beliefs. Following are pictures of a … Continue reading

May 29, 2013 · 10 Comments

Tribal Life in Orissa – a tribute!

  I was in Orissa in January and the month of May is about to end, and yet the tribal life that I experienced there remains unshared on this blog. … Continue reading

May 27, 2013 · 4 Comments

The textile Murals of Rajasthan : Phad art

A new article published by Jozan.net, contributed by me : Click here to read it. jm March 2013

March 10, 2013 · 3 Comments

Palm Leaf Pattachitra from Odisha

Traditionally paper, textiles and stone have been used to create artworks. So when a new base material is encountered the most intriguing aspect for me is ‘how did this come … Continue reading

February 28, 2013 · 4 Comments

ANNOUNCEMENT : Wovensouls to hold first major Live Auction in April 2013

Live Auctioneers will host the first major auction of Wovensouls  on April 6th, 10am California Time. Important pieces of textile art and folk art from Tibet and a few other … Continue reading

February 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

18th / 19th Century Yao Painted scrolls, North Vietnam

Art. A subject that seems enticing, mysterious as well as ambiguous. An area where it is hard to be sure of oneself especially with respect to valuation. When I look … Continue reading

January 18, 2013 · 2 Comments

Miniature Thangkas from Mongolia

Devotional Art – art that arises out of worship and devotion – produces some of the most spectacular works the world has seen.  Sufi music is an example and so … Continue reading

January 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Latest Additions to the Antique Gallery – June 2012

Antique and Vintage acquisitions from the Dayak tribes from Sarawak, Sumatra and Kalimantan have been added to the Wovensouls galleries linked below: Antique Textiles from Borneo Antique Articles from Borneo … Continue reading

June 5, 2012

Mewar Diaries

Rajasthan needs no introduction. Colors flood my senses from the moment I drive into the city of Udaipur from the airport late in the evening. After stopping to pick up … Continue reading

April 20, 2012 · 2 Comments

Ancient Murals of Alchi Monastery – an art-collector’s delight

Alchi is a sleepy and simple unglorified village about 70 km to the West of Leh. Nothing in its approach route or in the buildings and structures of the village … Continue reading

September 23, 2011

Christian Paintings from the Past

Old. Beautiful. Full of stories. Full of devotion. Antique Church Paintings. Many of these are on wood board. Others may be on canvas. Some hang high up on walls and … Continue reading

July 31, 2011 · 4 Comments

Sikkim Diaries

‘To live many lifetimes within a lifetime…”. Its time for another lifetime! My trip to Sikkim in March 2011, was planned during the week of Losar (Tibetan New Year) celebrations. … Continue reading

March 17, 2011

Breathtaking Mural Paintings of Sikkim Monasteries

The images need no supporting words… Just a small preface …all images were taken inside a large hall lit only by a few butter lamps. I have not used a … Continue reading

March 15, 2011 · Leave a comment

Pattachitra Art of Assam

Pattachitra is similar to ‘storyboards’ or stories told along with pictures. The tales depicted are usually derived from epics such as Bhagawat and Ramayana. In ancient India, this art was … Continue reading

February 18, 2011 · 3 Comments

Goan Folk Art – Tulsi Pots

Goa is known for its beaches …but over the years its numerous hidden attractions have revealed themselves to me, slowly, one at a time, ensuring that I remain in love … Continue reading

October 25, 2010

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