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Yakshi: the enigmatic woman

Yakshi- an oil on canvas painting by multidisciplinary artiste Mesma Belsaré
Yakshi Pramodā: oil on canvas 30"x40"

About this painting

A yakshi is an archetype of the enigmatic feminine in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythologies. She is a female nature spirit. Depicted here is the yakshi named Promodā (The Fragrant One).

One of my earliest childhood memories is of the voluptuous sandstone Shālabhanjikā yakshi of the Sānchi Stūpa near Bhopal, India. Ever since, these alluring figures haunted my imagination. However they kept me at bay with their ambivalence. Some folklore liken yakshi-s to siren women, while others extol them as the gatekeepers of the natural world. Sometimes they are seductive and sensuous, and other times severe, savage and stoic. Often the presiding protectors of sacred groves, yakshi-s are known to make everything grow, causing bees to make honey and fruits to burst forth.

Educational blog by Mesma Belsare
Types of Yakshi-s

Decades later I arrived at my own version of the yakshi Pramodā. She is a child of the classical Indian figure, and the oil & tempera techniques of the early Italian masters, as it were. She defies logical anatomy, gravity and linear perspective. Like in Indian miniatures or Byzantine icons, she casts no shadows. I like to think of her as the bestower of boons and beatitude, redolent in her own verdant dwelling buzzing with bees and croaking frogs.

A detail of an oil on canvas painting by multidisciplinary artiste Mesma Belsaré
Yakshi (detail)

Yakshi oil on stretched canvas 30" x 40" For purchase inquiry, email or fill out the purchase inquiry form. Installment payment options are available.

Multidisciplinary artiste Mesma Belsaré in her painting studio
Mesma in her painting studio

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