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Artist In Focus : Mahaveer Swamy

In this section for D’s Art Takes, we pick one artist to showcase their work and creative journey so far. Today, we look at the Indian artist, Mahaveer Swamy.

Mahaveer Swamy

Descended from a family of traditional painters based in the historic city, of Bikaner, Mahaveer Swami was born in 1959 in Rajasthan. Hailing from a family of traditional artists, he naturally trained first under his father and grandfather, and subsequently with the late Vedpal Sharma “Bannu” in Jaipur, learning the delicate craft of miniature paintings.

With his mastery in drawing, coloring and compositions, Mahaveer Swamy is credited with reviving the original sophistication and refinement of the Bikaner School of painting.

At the beginning of his career, he started with making copies of old paintings, he now explores newer and contemporary subjects, such as his series of paintings based on the daily life of Indian women, a theme rarely explored by miniature painters.

Mughal and Rajasthani miniatures had a large influence on him and much of his work is based on Hindu mythological themes and includes ascetics and mystics, besides botanical imagery executed in ethereal colours and fine brushwork. Often engaged in conducting workshops, he trains young artists in miniature techniques and holds lecture demonstrations in his studio, keeping the rich cultural tradition alive.

Winner of several awards and honours including the National, Sanskriti, Kala-Shree and Rajiv Ratna awards, amongst others, his work has been exhibited extensively in prestigious galleries in various Indian cities as well as internationally at Gallery Lafayette in Paris, Sackler Art Gallery, and Smithsonian Institute, Washington, besides others. Featured as illustrations in various publications and books, his work is held in significant national and international collections.

The artist lives in Bikaner and works from his studio in the city.

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