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Geet Govinda

Geet Govinda -- a superb lyrical Sanskrit poem of the 12th century composed by Jaideva -- has stirred the minds of the readers, artists, dancers and musicians to such frenzy that they themselves become the geet or song while reading, dancing, painting, acting or playing on their instruments. It manifested in almost all the disciplines of Indian fine arts. Geet Govinda contains twelve cantos that have twenty four eight-stanza songs or "ashtapadis" which deal with the love plays of the Dark Lord Krishna and his fair beloved Radha. The Indian artists painted these verses through their brushes in almost all the pioneer styles of Indian miniature painting between the 16th to 18th centuries, including the styles that flourished in the remote areas of India. In Khandesh district of Maharashtra, Geet Govinda was painted in 1765 in a new style -- Kanheri. This is a fine blending of folk and royal styles. The colours are indigenous and the lines are delicate. We find Krishna and Radha wearing Khandeshi clothes and ornaments. This discovery has added a new chapter to the history of Indian art.
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About the Author

Narmada Prasad Upadhyaya is currently Additional Commissioner, Commercial Tax, Madhya Pradesh. He is a Hindi essayist and an art critic, and has published twelve books. He was awarded the fellowship of British Council and visited different museums in England, Australia and Switzerland. His area of research and study is the late styles of miniature and wall paintings that flourished in Malwa, Bundelkhand, Vidarbha and Khandesh. He also writes on the dimensions of Indian aesthetics. He is presently working on the Gayer-Anderson collection of Indian miniatures preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; British Library, and National Gallery of Art, Canberra.

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