S. DHANAPAL  (1919 - 2000)

Foremost Painter and Sculptor of South Indian Modernism

The Late Professor S. Dhanapal was a seminal figure in the movement of South Indian contemporary art through his work as part of the Madras School of Artists.

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THE ART OF S. DHANAPAL

Manuelpillai Fine Arts were the first to showcase the extraordinary work of the late S. Dhanapal in Europe. Great care has been taken to create a group of works that chart the artist's crucial contribution to South Indian contemporary art after Independence.

'Still Life' (1991) by S. Dhanapal, Crayon on paper, 22 x 28 inches unframed, DHAN0010
'Still Life' (1991) by S. Dhanapal, Crayon on paper, 22 x 28 inches unframed, DHAN0010

A Still Life by the late S. Dhanapal, this work shows clearly the impact of British academic art training in Madras.

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'Village Women' (1947) by S. Dhanapal, tempera on board, 19 x 17.5 inches unframed, DHAN0009
'Village Women' (1947) by S. Dhanapal, tempera on board, 19 x 17.5 inches unframed, DHAN0009

One of only two tempera paintings in The Noble Sage Collection, this stands out as a representation of Indian history as well as an important work in South Indian art history.

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'Composition' (1954), tempera on board, 21 x 28 inches unframed, DHAN0008
'Composition' (1954), tempera on board, 21 x 28 inches unframed, DHAN0008

One of only two tempera paintings in The Noble Sage Collection, this stands out as a representation of Indian history as well as an important work in South Indian art history.

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'Palace' (1945) by S. Dhanapal, pen and ink on paper, 14.5 x 10.5 inches unframed, DHAN0006
'Palace' (1945) by S. Dhanapal, pen and ink on paper, 14.5 x 10.5 inches unframed, DHAN0006

A stunning ink wash on paper by the late S. Dhanapal. This piece shows the influence of his British academic art school training as well as the impact of the Bengal School.

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'Composition' (1988) by S. Dhanapal, 12 x 10.5 inches unframed, DHAN0005
'Composition' (1988) by S. Dhanapal, 12 x 10.5 inches unframed, DHAN0005

An early work of the late master S. Dhanapal, here experimenting on paper perhaps in preparation for a sculptural work.

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'Abstract' (1999) by S. Dhanapal, 10 x 9 inches unframed, 10 x 9 inches unframed, DHAN0001
'Abstract' (1999) by S. Dhanapal, 10 x 9 inches unframed, 10 x 9 inches unframed, DHAN0001

An early work by the late S. Dhanapal, here showing his interest in abstraction. One notes how, for this sculptor, creating subtle form within the marks that make up his abstract surface is of key interest.

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'Ravana' (1988), ink on paper, 5 x 8.5 inches unframed, DHAN0003
'Ravana' (1988), ink on paper, 5 x 8.5 inches unframed, DHAN0003

Ravana, (also known by other names) is the primary antagonist character of the Hindu epic Ramayana; who was the Rakshasa (demon worshiping) king of Sri Lanka. In the classic text, he is mainly depicted negatively, kidnapping Rama's wife Sita, to claim vengeance on Rama and his brother Lakshmana for having cut off the nose of his sister Surpanakha. Ravana is described as a devout follower of the god Shiva in addition to his tribe's religious beliefs, a great scholar, a capable ruler and a maestro of the Veena. He has his apologists and staunch devotees within the Hindu traditions, some of whom believe that his description as a ten-headed person is a reference to him possessing a very thorough knowledge over the 4 Vedas and 6 Upanishads, which made him as powerful as 10 scholars. However, there is mention in Atharvaveda of demonic Brahmans called Dasagva (ten-headed) and Navagva (nine-headed) and the metaphor of a supernatural number of bodyparts to symbolize powers is an ancient one in Indian mythic depictions. Yet another interpretation of the ten-headed Ravana describe him to be a complete man with nine of his heads representing nine emotions that a man may possess (anger, pride,

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'Andal' (1990) by S. Dhanapal, pen and ink on paper, 7 x 10 inches unframed, DHAN0002
'Andal' (1990) by S. Dhanapal, pen and ink on paper, 7 x 10 inches unframed, DHAN0002

Andal is the only female Alvar of the 12 Alvar saints of South India, who are known for their affiliation to the Srivaishnava tradition of Hinduism. Andal is known for her unwavering devotion to the Lord Vishnu, the God of the Srivaishnavas. The Srivilliputhoor Temple is dedicated to her and marks her birthplace. Adopted by her father, the Alvar saint Periyalvar who found her as a baby, Andal avoided earthly marriage, the normal and expected path for women of her culture, to "marry" Vishnu, both spiritually and physically. In many places in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, Andal is treated more than a saint and as a form of God herself.

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'Abstract Composition' (1999) by S. Dhanapal, ink on paper, 20 x 10.5 inches unframed, DHAN0004
'Abstract Composition' (1999) by S. Dhanapal, ink on paper, 20 x 10.5 inches unframed, DHAN0004

An early work by the late S. Dhanapal, here showing his interest in abstraction. One notes how, for this sculptor, creating subtle form within the marks that make up his abstract surface is of key interest.

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