Centre Medallion Composition in Kalamkari Tray Covers

Art history/ Historiography, Museums/ Galleries / Collections / Exhibitions

Centre Medallion Composition in Kalamkari Tray Covers

Pathak, Anamika

The seventeenth century rectangular hanging created in Coromandel coast that reached the museum of France is a significant example of kalamkari. It is preserved in the French city of Mulhouse at the Musee de l'impression sur etoffes de Mulhouse! This hand painted kalamkari is decorated with vibrant colours and bold line work with an amazing composition.' Most fascinating design of the hanging illustrates centre medallion, hybrid bird, animal, lots of vegetation and architectural patterns. The design and composition of this kalamkari pose some questions like, its functional uses, who the artists were, who designed it, from where they took inspiration, who were the patrons, where it was created, was the creation centre different from the export centre, how it reached France, etc. Here is an attempt to understand the design, composition, its concept, its philosophy and the artistic expression, but before that, a quick look of the Mulhouse kalamkari.

Fig1: Hand painted and printed canopy /hanging 17th century South India Mulhouse at the Musee de 1st impression sur etoffes de Mulhouse France

The Mulhouse kalamkari 
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