Untitled (Portrait of a Lady)


This untitled portrait of a lady is very much in keeping with Kalal Laxma Goud’s typical subject matter and style of painting. Born in 1940 in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, the artist began his career under the tutelage of KG Subramanyam in Baroda. Early on in his career, Goud was known for his erotic figures, which had a clearly rustic quality to them. He was fascinated by the female form and felt more inclined to draw women from his village. This is because he believes the taboo of sex is absent in the villages of India, in contrast to urban life. With time, the eroticism in Goud’s art became subtle and nuanced. His women would be drawn with a sexual energy but they would rarely appear nude, as can be seen in his watercolour series.

Here, the subject is wearing a plain blue saree with a patterned blouse. The delineation of her breasts through the saree along with her stern and confident posture giver her a powerful and sensuous quality. The colours and patterns in the attire as well as the motif used in the jewellery create a spot-on typology of the rural women of Telangana. Overall, the composition is largely left uncoloured – the background, the skin of the women except for slight shading on the arms, the inside of the motifs, their jewellery, and even the outlining of the nipples are left blank (white) and lined with black. This is because the artist is tremendously fascinated by the impact of monochrome. He believed the white, black and greys in between speak volumes.

K. Laxma Goud completed his art education from the Government School of Art and Architecture in Hyderabad and then went on to study Mural Painting and Printmaking at the M.S. University in Baroda. To read more, click here.

Untitled (Portrait of a Lady)
K Laxma Goud
Watercolour on paper
H:29.1 cm x W: 27.6 cm
Accession No.