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MASTERS go low-cost

Samrudhi Art Gallery retails an exclusive collection of digital reproductions of great artists



An array of all-time greats up for grabs — Photo: K. Murali Kumar

RAJA RAVI Varma for Rs. 8,000, Picasso for Rs. 3000, Van Gogh for even less! Samrudhi Art Gallery retails an exclusive collection of digital reproductions of great masters, with price tags that don't send you into a tizzy!

We Create, You Treasure, sounds like a good old TV jingle, but is also the motto of Samrudhi, The Art Gallery. On a working day, one could find Brindala Raju, the Director of the Gallery, on the telephone, diligently thanking a customer who has just ordered a print, while Dinesh Magar, Director-curator is seen deeply engrossed in a tête-à-tête with a couple of associates. Mute witnesses to these activities are the Galaxy Of Musicians by Raja Ravi Varma, Van Gogh's Sunflowers, and dozens of other images, neatly framed and displayed on the walls of the new gallery.

Magar, who completed his BFA in 1992, reveals that Kalpana Corporate Artz, the parent company of Samrudhi Art Gallery, had acquired the reproduction rights not only from his alma mater, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat, but also from Sri Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery Trust, Jaganmohan Palace, Mysore, both institutions housing some magnificent masterpieces of yesteryears.

The range of exhibits in the gallery is quite extensive — from portrait to landscape, still-life to abstract, traditional to modern. For starters, there are the colourful works of Raja Ravi Varma, the painter-prince of the mid-19th century, reproduced on canvas. Among those hogging the limelight are Galaxy Of Musicians, featuring a group of elegantly clothed beautiful women, and the lonely Lady in Moonlight, rendered in classical hues. Resting on the periphery are other well-known works such as the Swan Messenger, showing the full-length profile of a pretty woman and, the Malabar Lady, who is seated gracefully, holding a stringed instrument on her lap. Vying for attention on the adjoining wall is a famous painting by S. L. Haldenkar, Glow Of Hope, portraying a lady with a lamp.

If one were to care for mythological themes, there is a full series of traditional paintings executed in the typical Mysore and Tanjore style. These prints, made on silk, include the famous Vishwaroopa Darshana, (whose original version is said to have been made nearly 150 years ago) and Navaneeta Krishna. In close proximity stands the series by Dr. S M Pandit, whose classically inspired canvasses show the sensuous and frolicking couples, Vishwamitra-Menaka, Radha-Krishna, Nala-Damayanti, and Omar-Khayyam. Pandit's portraits of Sai Baba, Urvashi, and so on are also on view, but a more endearing image sights a meditating Buddha, on whose feet lie a pair of lions.

If all these appear to be excessively traditional to stomach, the gallery has many other works, which move closer to the modern day. The Roerichs — Nicholas and Svetoslav — enliven the Gallery with their studies of Himalayas, while the two-dozen black-and-white photographs of Colonial Bangalore, lugs the viewer down the memory lane.

The Gallery also makes available 4000 paper prints of international masters, thanks to its tie-up with Bruce Mcgaw Graphics. There is a whole range of works, reproduced from the American and European Museums, which can be viewed in the elaborate catalogue and then ordered. This is where one gets to see, for instance, Rothko's magnificent squares, Klint's Kissing Couple, Henry Moore's serigraphs, Dali's surreal mindgames, Picasso's Musicians and a host of other masters.

"We hope to cater to everybody's needs," says Magar, "with high quality prints and affordable prices. By the way, our price invariably includes high-class framing and free delivery. Further, every product we sell comes with a Certificate of Authenticity."

Samrudhi is located at 196, Double Road (opposite HDFC Bank), Indiranagar II stage, Bangalore 560 038. Phone: 98450 10765 / 98450 30638.

ATHREYA

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