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Eggs of 2019: Manaku’s Hiranyagarbha

We’re completely egg-static and utterly egg-cited. What a time to be alive: an egg has broken all records on Instagram! Beating Kylie Jenner, the egg has emerged victorious with the highest number of likes on the social media platform. Finally, we can safely put an end to that eternal question- the egg did come first!

 

Well, if it has to be Eggs, here’s a masterpiece by Manaku that deserves to be as recognized:

 

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The ‘Hiranyagarbha’ by Manaku: No ordinary egg!!

The story of creation is quite fascinating! The Matsya-purana says that after the great dissolution of the universe, the SWAYAMBHU (the self manifested being), arose. It created the primordial waters first and placed the seed of creation into it, which turned into a golden womb, the Hiranyagarbha. The Golden Egg or Hiranyagarbha floated around in the ocean of non-existence till it broke into two and Life began.

To communicate a story such as this with a visual is no ordinary feat; Manaku achieved this way back in 1740!

What also makes this Egg a masterpiece is the way it is painted

Back in April 2018, we worked with Prof. Goswamy owing to a collaboration with the Oxford University Press which had published ‘Readings in Indian Art’. That is when we got to know, this painting has a 3-D effect. When laid flat, it appears brown but once it is held in hand to be viewed, it gleams golden. It’s like one of those holograms we played with as kids; only, it was created more than 200 years ago! Manku’s brilliance is also evident in the contrast he creates between the swirls of the ocean in the background and the stillness of the perfectly oval Golden Egg in the foreground.

 

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Did you know that its painter, Manaku, is the elder brother of Nainsukh of Guler? Their contribution to the Pahari school of art is tremendous. This portrait of Manaku (from the Government Museum & Art Gallery Chandigarh) was painted by Nainsukh. 

You don’t even have to venture somewhere far away abroad to see it either! It’s in our very own Bharat Kala Bhavan in Varanasi, a folio of the Bhagavata Purana series in their collection.

Now isn’t this an egg worth breaking records over. We think it is an egg-cellent alternate!

Come on, art lovers, share away! Let’s get the ♥️ rolling (taking a chance here..,haha!)

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