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Vishnu as Vaikunthanath. Signed 'painter Girdhari Liladar Nathdwara', circa 1901. Opaque watercolour on wasli. 24.2 x 16.9cm
The son of Udaipur court artist Mohanlal, Liladar also worked for the Udaipur royal court (1874 - 1930) as painter and photographer to Maharanas Sajjan Singh and Fateh Singh. His portraits of Maharanas Sarup Singh (posthumously) and Fateh Singh are illustrated in Andrew Topsfield, 'Court Painting at Udaipur', 2008, p.292. An early 20th century painted photograph using the full name Giridhari Liladhar featured in the exhibition Where Three Dreams Cross: 150 Years of Photography from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh at The Whitechapel Gallery, London, 21st Jan - 11th April 2010.
In an interesting hybrid style mixing elements of Nathdwara and South India. Liladar was most likely influenced (as was the famous Ghasiram) by the visit of Ravi Varma to the Udaipur court in 1901 when the artists of Nathdwara went to visit him. Following the visit Ghasiram then adapted paintings by Varma by giving them a Nathdwaran twist, as in his own way did Liladar here.
I would like to express my gratitude to Tarun Pant for kindly providing information regarding this aspect of Vishnu.
Ref: Nathdwara Vaikunthanath 71011
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All images and text © Peter Blohm