The Staircase Of Pornography

When a friend of mine from the US visited us in March, one of the things we thought would be interesting to show her in the city was Bangalore palace. The tour within the palace is well arranged with recordings and headsets that come with exorbitant entree fee. 

After taking a tour of almost an hour looking at beautiful paintings, pictures, king’s hunts, courtyards and darbar one has to descend a flight of stairs. And here the walls are filled with obscene images and paintings of women. My friend was very offended by this sight and later at home when we had a discussion about this, she expressed her feelings. Art and nudity have always complimented each other. May it be, Aphrodite of Cnidus, Michelangelo's David or Leda and the swan by Leonardo da Vinci or some of the famous paintings by Ravi Verma; they are less about nudity and more about elegance, beauty and perfection. But this was not the case in the staircase at Bangalore palace. The paintings were very erotic and represented more sexual aspect of a body than its perfection and elegance; neither were they an impressive work of brush.

We also discussed about a party that my friend had recently visited in the US where an artist friend of hers was displaying body art and which was mostly a work of art than any act of obscenity. 

Hence what becomes more important about a painting or a photograph is the expression and body language of the subject and of course the intention of the artists.

And why are these paintings in the palace? It is such a bad representation of art in a country that has nurtured great artists and work and that too in a place where we showcase our heritage to rest of the world.


  1. One can understand your friend's reaction, which one would guess arose more from the unexpectedness of the confrontation with such graphic images. However, in the historical and sociological context one can understand why these images were painted. Some of the great art you have mentioned was at one or another stage considered obscene. I have great issue with some of the obscenity that comes out of Hollywood, especially if it involves violence.

    1. Hello Nix. Correct. There is much difference between art and porn. I rather think these images are more insulting than appreciating. I agree with your comment on Hollywood with unnecessary sexual content.

  2. well said Ajeya, a very thin line separates porn and art ...

  3. agreed...
    moreover, a monument/palace nowadays are not even maintained & filled with graffiti...

    you have an interesting blog with entries on very pertinent issues...

  4. You're right Ajeya.. In fact nudity too can be expressed without repulsing the person seeing it if portrayed well. The subject in the image needs to be represented properly to be considered art. Otherwise they become just another way to boost Pornography.



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