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Chapter 1: Masterpieces of Indian Art: Glow of Hope by S L Haldankar

Updated: Mar 20, 2023


When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. (John Ruskin)

The way of life, the spirituality, the moral understandings amongst the citizens, the quick adjustment to unprecedented situations, the quest to attain salvation, and the countless mystic mysteries - India has it all in her history.

Be it art, crafts, literature, dance, or music, there is no dearth of talent in India.

One of the many gifted artists is S.L. HALDANKAR.

Context and Execution

Alumni of Sir JJ School of Art, Sawlaram Laxman Haldankar showed his talent in his childhood. Later on, he set out to become one of the finest artists in India.

Under the patronage of famous artists Mahadev Vishwanath Dhurandhar and Cecil Leonard Burns, Haldankar established himself as an eminent and pioneer artist .
Glow of Hope

The given masterpiece is one of the finest paintings in Indian art history.

The lady holding the brass lamp is Haldankar 's own daughter Gita Haldankar.

It was Diwali time and the demure girl came out with a lamp in her left hand and in her right hand, she was trying to save the flame from the wind.

The scene had a fondling impact on the artist's father.

With the grand festive mood of Diwali and a lovely yet powerful picture of his own daughter, what more could an artist ask for?

It was 1945 pre-independence days of India when artists were working under the influence of British counterparts.

Gita Haldankar,later Upelkar

Gita Haldankar, later Upelkar, a probably thirteen years old girl was wearing a traditional Indian saree.

The percolated light of the lamp was actually enhancing her gentility.

The demure girl with submissiveness posed for her father for three hours and for three consecutive days.

Voila, the painting that seems to be quite simple is a phenomenal one in history.

More about Haldankar:

View and Review:

Patience is not simply the ability to wait, it's how we behave while we're waiting.
(Joyce Meyer)       

jogeshwari cave

Being a specialist in watercolours, this painting of Haldankar showed authentic India. The light reflections of the brass lamp are mesmerizing and so is the glow shattered on the wall as well as on the face of his daughter.

A subtle sign of affection for the father from the daughter can't be ignored.

It's the glow of hope, the glow of pride, the glow of peace, the glow of elegance, the glow of happiness, the glow of patience, and the glow of ethnicity.

Recognition and Prize:

The painting is one among many in the "Glow of Hope" series. The painting was named 'The lady with the lamp'.
Gita Haldankar,later Upelkar

Later on, as per records, at an art exhibition organized by the then-Mysore royals for the Dussehra festival, the painting won first prize.

Afterwards, the then-rulers purchased the painting and it is still in the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery at the Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore India.



The most important factor of the rich cultural heritage of India is that we never shy away from accepting challenges, we witnessed a lot of changes and even then we reschedule and restart and eventually we stand holding our cultural legacy with a sweet sense of elation.

To know more about the story of the glow of hopes, read here:

Author and Editor: Shalini Priyadarshiny

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