This Indian hanging is a masterwork of the art of kalamkari, a method of hand-painting dyes on fabric using a bamboo pen, or kalam. The artist’s skill is illustrated by the sensitivity of the painted line, the sophisticated integration of the figure into a foliate landscape, and the fine rendering of the worshipful sentiment of the Shiva devotee. Produced in one of the great cloth-painting centers of south India, this hanging was intended for export to Sri Lanka. The presence of a large Tamil Hindu community there generated a demand for imported Indian textiles such as this hanging, which would have been displayed during religious festivals.
Private Collection, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Private Collection, London, U.K., ca. 1995 (acquired from the above)
Acquired by the present owner from the above, London, U.K., 1999