By K.B. Ganapathy
Caption: 1) City’s renowned artist Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat interviewed by K.B. Ganapathy, Editor -in-Chief, Star of Mysore. 2) The Wadiyar couple with artist Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat. [Pic by by S. Thippeswamy]
I first met Mahaswami at the Palace along with the Taranga Kannada Weekly Editor Santosh Kumar Gulwadi. That was for the purpose of interviewing Wadiyar for an article on his Private Durbar. He was shown some of my paintings, including Ganjifa paintings. He went through those paintings showing keen interest and said that his great-grandfather Krishnaraja Wadiyar III was in fact the creator of 18 Ganjifa card games and also wrote the slokas for those paintings on each card,” said the renowned city artist Ganjifa Raghupathi Bhat, who is responsible for reviving the Ganjifa paintings, which was on the verge of extinction.
Recalling his memories about Srikanta Datta Narasimharaja Wadiyar, the last scion of the Mysore Royal Family who died yesterday in Bangalore, Bhat said that Wadiyar had visited his art museum Chitra Saale in Srirangapatna about three times, twice with his wife Pramodadevi and spent about an hour going through the exhibited art works with great interest and even wrote his opinion in the visitors book.
Bhat recalled Wadiyar calling him and asking him to get a few artists from the artists camp that was going on at that time. Accordingly, Bhat took artists Srihari, Vijay Hagargundi, Nagure and another two to the Palace. Wadiyar received them warmly, served them with coffee in silverware and went through their paintings rather critically.
Bhat was astonished at the immense knowledge about paintings Wadiyar displayed when the latter chanted a Sanskrit sloka ‘Kauthuka Nidhi’ from the book ‘Srithatva Nidhi’ written by Sri Krishnaraja Wadiyar III, on seeing a painting of Devi. Looking at the colour of the saree of the Devi he asked the artist as to the basis on which he had used that p...more