The rich cultural heritage of Amaravati has gained international recognition for being the birthplace of ancient Indian art and sculpture. Recreating the glory of Amaravati on canvas with the help of acrylic colours, Joint Director of the Social Welfare department Regulla Mallikarjuna Rao has conducted a four-day exhibition at the Ambedkar Bhavan here.
As the rulers of Amaravati, the Andhra Satavahanas, were the followers of Buddhism, the sculptures of Amaravati depict the rich literature of Buddhism, its symbols, images, its deities and spirits. A connoisseur of Buddhist art and sculpture, Mr. Mallikarjuna Rao recreated the emblems of sovereignty, mythical animals, ornaments of men and women, chariots and weapons of war, furniture, utensils, and musical instruments. One can see how Buddhism flourished in Amaravati and how rich the culture of Satavahanas was by going through the paintings of Mr. Mallikarjuna Rao.
“It is an attempt at making people understand the past glory of Buddhism and Amaravati as well. That is why I have given the title ‘A Tribute to Amaravathi Glory' to this exhibition,' he says.
A short note given by the artist to each of the 24 paintings helps the audience understand better the concept of the focal point of the piece. Beginning with Salarjung Museum at Hyderabad the exhibition has been conducted so far in Visakhapatnam, Guntur, Chennai and Bangalore and plans are afoot to conduct the same in London, where the remains of Amaravati sculpture were preserved in the prestigious London Museum by the British.
“All the paintings have already been sold and those who purchased the paintings have agreed to conduct the exhibitions. The proceedings are being spent on Dhyana Buddha project of Amaravati in Guntur district,” Mr. Mallikarjuna Rao explains.