Afternoon ENERGY

This masterpiece is 22 feet long, consists of five separate pieces, and is full of action.

November 01, 2018 06:21 pm | Updated 06:21 pm IST

W hen Indian artist Krishen Khanna painted A Far Afternoon in 2014, he was 90 years old. It took him almost nine months to complete. This masterpiece is a picture of a North Indian wedding procession — a baraat . It stretches 22 feet long. The artist painted five separate large pieces, which were joined together to make the whole picture.

At first, Khanna painted the central panel of the bridegroom riding a mare. The groom holds the traditional sword and a little boy sits behind him.

The artist said he wanted this part to tell a funny little story — how the groom probably has never ridden a horse or held a sword in his life. The little boy behind him is reaching to grab the sword.


In another panel, there is a roadside restaurant or dhaba where chai is being served. Another little boy in the scene carries empty glasses from customers. A third panel shows musicians from the wedding band with their brass instruments.

In fact, there are two bands with members in different coloured uniforms — one set wears red coats, another wears white. The artist loves painting bandwallahs and has painted other pictures of them.

In the fourth panel is a set of dancers from the wedding party. The artist has paid attention to little details such as the hand gestures of the dancers. The fifth panel shows people carrying sweets and fruits up the stairs of a grand house where the wedding will take place.

As you look across, each panel flows into the next to tell a complete story. It is amazing that there are so many people in it. Each person has a different face. You can see red, blue, brown and white throughout. The artist used a yellow background to give a feeling of bright energy to the party. Yellow is also the colour of a sunny Indian afternoon.

People made a movie on the artist while he was painting this picture.

If you want to learn more about Krishen Khanna and how he painted A Far Afternoon . watch it on

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