By Tanya Malhotra
LuxeBook celebrates monsoons with these ten paintings, by Indian and foreign artists, depicting the beauty and fury of rains
In India, we celebrate monsoons. It is the season of romance, the time when the parched earth quenches its thirst and is rejuvenated. Water streams fall from a great height creating awe-inspiring waterfalls and ever beautiful rainbows.
The rains have forever been artists’ muse. Paying an ode to this season and to the artists’ creativity, LuxeBook lists ten most interesting monsoon-inspired artworks by foreign and Indian artists, perfect to look at on a cloudy day.
Paresh Maity’s The Rain, created in 2016, is a dramatic watercolour representation of the stormy, monsoon sky. He has very intelligently combined a palette of both warm and cool colours to paint a scene of tension and beauty.
“I grew up near the coast in Bengal. Water and I share a very intimate relationship. From the moment I start to see the thick clouds take over the sky or see rains approaching, my body almost automatically begins to create an art-like reflex reaction,” says Maity. “I love the sound of rain and often spend hours just observing it. Light plays a very important role in my art, and I only work during the day. I am absolutely in awe of the depth and multidimensions of the shadows cast in the puddles created by rainwater.”
The Poetry of Monsoon
Ajay De creates works that capture the complexities and problems of the modern world we live in. In this charcoal painting, made in 2014, De has portrayed an image of Kolkata’s hardworking rickshaw puller; unseen, unknown, fleeting through the crowded, narrow streets, carrying passengers around through the rain and blazing sun with quiet fortitude and dignity.
“I’ve always adored the rains. It’s my link between Mumbai and Kolkata. I believe that the rains are sent down by the heavens, like a gift of hope and new beginnings,” says De. “25 years ago, the only way to get around Kolkata was on a hand-pulled rickshaw. The striking colours of the rickshaw standing out in the gloominess caused by the rain inspired me to create The Poetry of Monsoon.”
Rainy Day, Kolkata
Sanjay Bhattacharya, a watercolourist and illustrator, depicts a scene of a relatively busy road in Kolkata during monsoons. The silhouettes of a traffic policeman and a few pedestrians add to the ambiguity of the painting, made in 1982, depicting a typical, redundant day during the rains.
“Although I love the rains, my art with rain is mainly limited to my photography. I haven’t really created a monsoon series like I usually do on subjects that inspire me. However, Rainy Day, Kolkata is a piece of work that I still cherish.”
Portrait of an Umbrella-Four
Have had mostly lived in India, where the monsoons dominate a majority of the year’s weather, it is no surprise that the rains inspired MF Husain. He created a series of untitled paintings on a concurrent theme of the umbrella and typical monsoon scenes that one would encounter in parts of Mumbai, says artist Brinda Miller. His 1988 work, Portrait of an Umbrella-Four is a watercolour and ink painting of a man lying on top of two umbrellas. The picture was recently auctioned at SaffronArt in 2013 for a price of $18,000.
Paris Street; Rainy Day
French impressionist artist Gustave Caillebotte’s 1877 works can be classified as a mix of impressionist and realistic styles. The painting depicts a typical rainy day in Paris. If looked at carefully, one can see a shiny pavement, soaked in the rain.
The Bridge in the Rain
Van Gogh greatly admired Japanese woodcuts for their bright colours and distinctive compositions. He based this painting of a bridge in the rain on a print by the famous artist Utagawa Hiroshige. Van Gogh, in this 1887 painting made the colours more intense than in the original and created this work on a canvas. He wanted to maintain the proportions of the original print and so left a border, which he filled with Japanese characters copied from other prints.
Cliffs at Pourville, Rain
Considered as one of Claude Monet’s masterpieces, the artwork depicts a cliff at Pourville during a stormy, rainy day. He has perfectly captured the angry waves hitting the rocks and the hardly visible cliff covered in the rain in the oil on canvas, created in 1882.
Morning on the Seine in the Rain
Another piece by Monet, which he started working on in 1897, is a part of Monet’s Mornings on the Seine near Giverny series. His use of the different variants of blue to depict the sky, the trees and the river create an impression of a downpour and very wet morning.
The Avenue in the Rain
This oil painting, created in 1917, by impressionist Childe Hassam, depicts the Fifth Avenue in New York City during the rains, draped in the US flags. The painting is one of the six works by Hassam in the permanent collection of the White House.
The Yerres, Effect of Rain
Another piece of work by Gustave Caillebotte, the painting depicts a small pond during a drizzle. The droplets of the raindrops create ripples in the puddle, beautifully illustrated by the artist. Created in 1875, this painting is considered one of Caillebotte’s best works of art.