No guessing what is Ranthambore is all about. Yes – tigers. This time we saw tigers of a different variety. Not in the jungle, but on canvas, dexterously hand painted by the students of the Ranthambore School of Art. Ranthambore School of Art is an art school, exhibition and gallery all in a small single-story house. This is off Sawai Madhopur on Ranthambore Road. While we had heard about this place, given the very little publicity they do, locals were not very aware of this place. It was perchance while driving on the Ranthambore Road, we came across modest signage which led to this institution of the truest sense. We walked in and saw painters sitting in front of large canvasses with menacing big cats looking back at them. It is a different issue that these tigers were brought to existence by these artists who are blessed with photographic precision. One could identify single strands of hair in some of these paintings. Ranthambore School of Art is more than 20 years old. During our visit, we met Mr Ram Sahay who is one of the founder members of this organisation. He was extremely forthcoming and shared interesting details. As with everything Ranthambore, the artwork here was geared towards wildlife. In fact, the institution was established with the aim to protect tigers. Students come here to learn as well as senior artists sit here and create paintings some of which are on sale. They showed us huge canvasses as well as small painted postcards. Given the life-like paintings, it was difficult to believe that these were results of wood and hairbrush and not any digital medium. In addition to tigers, birds and other wildlife, the artists also paint diverse subjects. We loved the painting of Jesus in all his compassionate glory. In addition to painting, the artists from here routinely hold workshops in schools, museum and nearby villages to create awareness about the tiger. While jungle safari is the primary activity, a visit to the Ranthambore School of Art is an offbeat activity in Ranthambore. One doesn’t need to be an art enthusiast o to appreciate the sincere work here. We believe a good piece of work has a universal language, it breaks boundaries. Ranthambore School of Art does just that we are humbled to have an opportunity of witnessing this first hand The entry to the art school/exhibition is free. Small paintings cost approx. INR 3,000 - INR 5,000
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