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The Eye in Art

The Eye in Art
by
Dr. Rajendra Bajpai (1991)
Publication Division
Rs. 360

"The Eye could never have beheld the beautiful had it not been made beautiful itself first"
-Plotinus

As we see them today


As it was rendered in old days

As it was rendered in various schools  in old days


Perhaps the best known - eyes of  (Radha) Bani-Thani drawn by Samant Singh's  best painter Nihalchand.
Bani-Thani, the courtesan consort of prince Samant Singh of Krishangarh is believed to be the fabled inspiration of an entire style of drawing eyes in Indian painting- the eyes of Radha in Kishangarh School of Rajasthan. It is believed that the prince met her in Delhi, enamored, brought her to his kingdom, took on a poet name, nagri Das and wrote songs about her eyes:

मद भरी, अखिय लाल तिहारी,
तिनसौ  तकि-तकि तीर चलावति,
वधति छतिया आनि  हमारी |

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Some pop-trivia:
among other things, her eyes were also the inspiration for the title credit roll for Ramanand Sagar's spy soap thriller Aankhen (1968).

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