The Sunday Leader

National Museum Holds Nation’s Rarest Paintings

By Harjit Lalli

The Colombo National Museum has given a home to the work of several artists over many a decade including S.P. Charles and L.T.P Manjsuri.
The gallery which consists of two halls, contains a collection of copies of Kandyan and country paintings from Degaldoruva, Hangala, Hanguranketa and Kelaniya.

The oldest copy, the Sigiriya Apsaras, originally painted in the 5th century AC shows a gold complexioned lady and a dark complexioned lady in a three quarter view.
Other fine pieces of work include the Lion, executed by M.M Dayananda and holds its place within the Bali collection, representing a central element of the tradition in Sri Lanka.

The most striking work is that from the Primitive/ Veddah period, which are cave paintings supposedly drawn by veddahs.

These paintings designate an established style from the pre-historic period, representing humans and animals.

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