Forget fashion magazines, the real inspiration is always to be derived from art. India’s finest artists have created the best works around the traditional sari. From Raja Ravi Verma’s immaculate detailing to Sudhir Patwardhan’s everyday renditions, these art the best saris in India’s art history. Take a cue and don the traditional weaves.
Maharashtrian Lady by Raja Ravi Verma
Raja Ravi Verma’s lithographs and art prints are a common sight in most Indian homes. While his mythological works are best known and find a place in most altars, his portraiture remains equally fascinating. The red sari in his painting The Maharashtrian Lady with its zari border and golden butis best captures the timelessness of the garment.
Sumair by Amrita Sher-gil
India’s Frida Kahlo, Amrita Sher-gil was a pioneer of modern Indian art and a feminist icon. Sumair is a portrait of her cousin and marks a stark departure from her saturated tertiary colour palatte. The green silk sari with floral motifs is as relevant today as it was back in her day.
Three Pujarins by Jamini Roy
Jamini Roy’s contribution to modern Indian art is a sizeable one. As a reaction to the Bengal School, his was a quest to make art more accessible. The influence of Kalighat paintings and his relatable subjects attest to this. In Three Pujarins the thin-bordered simple cobalt blue sari of the central figure is iconic of both is work and the tradition of the garment.
Paying the Bill by Sudhir Patwardhan
Contemporary Indian Art’s most recognisable figure, Sudhir Patwardhan’s concern remains with the quotidian city life. While he is known for his depictions of the bustling city, in Paying the Bill he captures the simplicity and functionality of the sari through the main figure in the painting.