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28

A. RAMACHANDRAN | Portrait of Naga Family

VAT reduced rateUK: Greenford Park Warehouse

Estimate:

50,000

to
- 70,000 GBP

A. RAMACHANDRAN | Portrait of Naga Family

A. RAMACHANDRAN | Portrait of Naga Family

Estimate:

50,000

to
- 70,000 GBP

A. RAMACHANDRAN

b.1935

Portrait of Naga Family


Oil on canvas

Signed, dated, titled and inscribed '"PORTRAIT OF NAGA FAMILY" / 1984 / 107 cm X 183 cm. / RAMACHANDRAN' on reverse

182.5 x 106.7 cm. (71 ¾ x 42 in.)

Painted in 1984

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Acquired directly from the artist, New Delhi, 1985

“The Naga couple from Manipur is the result of many sketches and studies I made during my visit to Manipur in 1983. I was amazed by the remarkable facial qualities of my models. The children and women with their extraordinary fair complexion and dainty features reminded me of Virgin Mary and the angels. The kneeling image of a bishop with angel’s wings provides the metaphor of the complete cultural conversion of the Naga tribes to Christianity. Thus, started a new phase of paintings with faces after two decades of headless paintings.” (Correspondence with the artist, April 2019)


A. Ramachandran went to Imphal (capital of Manipur) to participate in an artist’s workshop. As he recounts, he was unaware at the time of the impact the workshop would have on his stylistic evolution. This was because it brought back the human faces which he had abandoned when he left rural Santiniketan for Delhi. What also struck a chord for him was that his wife Chameli had similar facial features to the models in the workship so it was difficult for him to render. He was also fascinated by the isolation of this region. “When a small girl asked me which country I came from, I was pained at the realisation of the extent to which these people were marginalised in their own country! When I returned to Delhi, I felt a strong need to relook at my representations of […] wonderful people and decided to give them a face and identity. This then was my preliminary step towards conceiving Yayati.” (A. Ramachandran quoted in A. Ramachandran: Life and Art in Lines Volume I, Vadehra Publishing, New Delhi, 2014, p. 44)