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Mini laurels

PRABALIKA M. BORAH
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In focus Miniature artist Mirza Mohammed Ali Baig recently received the President’s award for his miniature painting on Ram-Sita swayamvaram

After winning awards and titles including international awards for his micro-painting of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, Queen Mumtaz Mahal and Taj Mahal which are all four inches in size, national award-wining artist Mirza Mohammed Ali Baig from Hyderabad recently won the President’s award for his depiction of Ram-Sita swayamvaram which measures 5ft X 3.5ft. It is a micro-painting on the swayamvaram scene from the Ramayana. Mirza, who is well-versed in Persian, Kangda, Ajanta, Deccani, Chugtai and Nirmal art traditions, was visited and commended by novelist Orhan Pamuk as one of the master miniature artists in India. Mirza who began to paint at the age of 15 years says that, citations don’t really matter anymore. “I had the ‘urge’ to learn and master the art and that is why I feel I was ale to reach my goal of becoming one of the few miniature artists in the country,” says the artist.

Mirza’s speciality lies in painting ‘countless’ characters in various sizes in one single canvas with microscopic detailing. He creates a three-dimensional effect in his work where the characters gradually decrease in size. And he does all this with brushes which he makes for his use. “Hair from the squirrel’s tail is used to make the brush,” he explains. Mirza, one of the few surviving miniature artists in the country and the only one in Andhra Pradesh, says he was inspired to learn the art form from his uncle, Mirza Akbar Ali Baig.

PRABALIKA M. BORAH

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