One of the foremost artists of India, Ramachandran chartered a singular course for his artistic expression. Both as a painter and sculptor, Ramachandran has established a new idiom in which man and nature share a symbiotic relationship that is unshakable and unbroken. Ramachandran’s art is marked by references to India’s mural traditions, strong control over line, vigorous brush work and a mastery over colour.

Ramachandran’s earlier works showed brutalized, dehumanized figures in an expressionist style. While studying in Santiniketan he was deeply moved, by the scenes of misery and distress of East Pakistani refugees trying to find a life in post partition Kolkata. These grotesque images of human figures embroiled in turbulence and turmoil slowly softened as the years went by and nature gradually made its presence felt in the artist’s canvases.

A catalytic factor was a visit to Rajasthan in the early seventies. He was not only fascinated by the vibrant landscape of the Udaipur region and the simplicity and directness of tribal life there but it also helped him to reconnect with Indian art tradition.

In ‘Incarnation’, the tribal woman stands in a sensuous pose with her knees and hips slightly bent, called the tribhanga in Indian aesthetics. She delicately holds a flower in her hand which is a familiar classical image in paintings and sculptures. The artist registers his presence in painting a Kurmavatar, the tortoise incarnation of the Hindu deity Vishnu, who carried the statuesque woman on his back.


  • Title: Incarnation
  • Creator: A. Ramachandran
  • Date Created: 1995/1996
  • Physical Dimensions: w1420 x h2040 cm (Without frame)
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: National Gallery of Modern Art, National Gallery of Modern Art

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