Rasamanjari, The Nectarous Ocean, is a collection of paintings originating from Bhanudatta’s 14th century work of the same name describing Shringara Rasa is Basholi style of Pahari Painting produced in three versions of which the present one of A.D. 1695 is more refined, mature and perfect as compared to the other two. Basohli are has left a mark on the cultural horizon of India with these miniatures of the highest aesthetic appeal.
The ‘Rasamanjari’ appeared in vigour and quality of simplicity, boldness and broad mannerism making these creations models of frankness, vitality and vigour in style, individualistic in nature and strong in artistic convictions in this small principality called Basohli. Rasamanjari paintings display charming, vibrant, penetrating colour delighting our eyes and heart. Contrasts of red yellow, Krishna blue, lavishly displayed ochre’s and deep greens make these paintings lavish, graceful, distinct and glamorous.
The vegetable and mineral burning colours are obviously derived from the folk-art tradition. The sensitive curvaceous line and bright colours when softened look glorious in pastel shades.
The young women appear in their costumes, high none line, receding fore-heads, lotus shaped eyes, faces of almond shades, shapely figures, unique postures, passionate looks and give us a glimpse of cultural background of 17th century A.D. joy of love, sensuous behavior, inviting gestures and captivating looks enrich the glorious works in miniature painting of advancement in a puritanical society of the hills.
Rasamanjari paintings have simplicity of composition and delicacy of colour which mark them out from other Basohli paintings and relate them to more refined Kangra-Guler style. We notice revival cal approach heading to revolt against corruption in cultural and aesthetic values in a civilization and this transformation in cultural heritage and religious traditions perfect in silent colours against the inert, bleak and monotonous way of life. We face our religion, in experiments and new adjustments where love was now developed as a way of life, where sensualist and mysticism amalgamated to see the creation of God to make us realize the hollowness of the world, which Rasamanjari paintings of A.D. 1695, painted by Devidasa at Basohli aim at.
Only six paintings of Basohli Rasamanjari have appeared in publications, in the past 65 years. The Nectarous Ocean brings 95 works printed in actual size for the first time.