June Gaur


Raghupathi Bhatta of Mysore, one of India's most promising traditional artists, hails from a family of South-Indian Pandits (Brahamin priests). It was in the ancient town of Nagamangala, seventy kilometers from Mysore, that his artistic imagination was fired. First, by the exquisite details of Hoysala craftsmanship in the temples there, and then, by the beautiful nineteenth-century playing cards of the Mysore Maharaja, Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV. He began his artistic career by learning Ganjifa, the delicate art on these tiny playing cards. But there were no gurus in the family from whom he could learn this centuries-old craft which had fascinated him since he was a child. To quote Bhatta: 'In the early seventies, I bought a few Ganjifa paintings from the Mysore Palace. Since then, it's grown into an obsession and I've lived for, and by Ganjifa, collecting as much information as I could, including old photographs and cards from all over India and Nepal'.



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