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Revisiting the times of Leonardo da Vinci, with help from late artist Bharat Dalal

Dalal regarded ‘The Fossilized Passions of Da Vinci’ as his dream project.

ET Bureau|
Dec 13, 2019, 12.41 PM IST
During his lifetime, Dalal felt an unexplained, yet strong connection with the “universal genius” Leonardo da Vinci.
During his lifetime, Dalal felt an unexplained, yet strong connection with the “universal genius” Leonardo da Vinci.
Before he passed away, artist Bharat Dalal created six exquisite works of art — called ‘The Fossilized Passions of Da Vinci’— inspired by the legendary artist.

After meticulously studying and observing the world, Leonardo da Vinci, one of the most celebrated artists of the Renaissance period, worked towards bettering the aspects of pictorial art. The modern times have discovered another such artist, who believed in the sanctity of art and considered it a picturisation of one’s life — (the late) Bharat Dalal. An exemplary painter of Indian origin, he possessed a scientific bent of mind, coupled with a philosophical outlook that made his massive paintings look life-like. The technique with which they were made, makes it almost impossible to replicate.

During his lifetime, Dalal felt an unexplained, yet strong connection with the “universal genius” Leonardo da Vinci. He had Leonardo’s visions, which inspired him to tell a tale through his last series of six humongous art-works, called ‘The Fossilized Passions of Da Vinci’, which took him over five years to complete.

Dalal regarded ‘The Fossilized Passions of Da Vinci’ as his dream project. In his journey, he zeroed in on long-lasting exterior paints so the paintings would last for years to come and the marbalised effect would never deteriorate.

Unique technique
One of the most intriguing features of his art was the technique. He hung the blank canvases from the ceiling with the help of pulleys. With sheer skill, he would cover the negative spaces around the required portion and drop the desired colour on it. Unlike most artists, he let the force of gravity define the flow of the paint, allowing the hues to naturally adopt the pattern. It was because of his precision that his collection falls under the one-of-a-kind category.

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As a final touch, he would rub the paintings with sandpaper, leaving behind a soothing grainy and marble effect. Discovered after his demise, ‘The Fossilized Passions of Da Vinci’ is an amalgamation of six oil-on-canvas paintings. The discovery of this masterpiece has left viewers captivated and several art experts and admirers have appreciated it by attributing him as India’s ‘Renaissance Man’.

Noteworthy art
The museum-worthy colection ranging from sizes of 6 ft 9 inches by 4 ft to as large as 6 ft 9inches by 15 ft. It includes a painting called ‘The Cavern’ that depicts one’s attitude and the very purpose of relativity, while the other is a portrait of Ginevra De Benci, speaking of the last woman and the expression of relativity.

‘The Cavallo’ is about one being lost in relativity, whilst ‘The Last Supper’ is the creator of perspective. The painting of ‘The Battle of Anghiari’ is a reflection of the war of equanimity and brings to light the individual perspective. The final painting is called ‘The Loggia’, which talks about the last visions, along with the relativity of perspective.

Talking about the collection, Dalal’s family said, “A genius, philosopher and a perfectionist, he didn’t live in the present, as he felt it didn’t do justice to his being. His collection is a symbol of this mind-set. It depicts the stages of metamorphosis: Birth, life, and the end, which showcases the journey that a soul undertakes to achieve its goals. We really find it difficult to understand his literature or his paintings, but we would love to know the in-depth meaning his art speaks volumes about.”

Even though Dalal is no longer around, he has left behind a legacy for several generations. His final piece epitomises the several facets of human experience that he wished to explore.

For more details visit www.bharatdalal.com or email on contact@bharatdalal.com
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