Shakuntala (Raja Ravi Varma)
|Artist||Raja Ravi Varma|
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
Shakuntala or Shakuntala looking for Dushyanta is an epic painting by celebrated Indian painter, Raja Ravi Varma.
Ravi Varma, depicts Shakuntala, an important character of Mahabaratha, pretending to remove a thorn from her foot, while actually looking for her husband/lover, Dushyantha, while her friends call her bluff.
Tapati Guha Thakurta, an art historian, wrote;
|“||[T]his very gesture – the twist and turn of head and body – draws the viewer into the narrative, inviting one to place this scene within an imagined sequence of images and events. On its own, the painting stands like a frozen tableau (like a still from a moving film), plucked out of an on-running spectacle of episodes. These paintings also reflect the centrality of the “male gaze” in defining the feminine image. Though absent from the pictorial frame, the male lover forms a pivotal point of reference, his gaze transfixes Shakuntala, as also Damayanti, into “desired” images, casting them as lyrical and sensual ideals.||”|
- Karline McLain (2009). India's Immortal Comic Books: Gods, Kings, and Other Heroes. Indiana University Press. p. 69. ISBN 9780253220523.
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