Prime Minister Modi presents a painting of Rogan to the Queen of Denmark; Learn more

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day trip to Europe, presented stunning Indian artwork to Nordic leaders. While meeting with his counterparts from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland to discuss and strengthen bilateral relations, the Prime Minister also showcased India’s art and heritage.

According to reports, he met the Queen of the Kingdom of Denmark Margrethe II at Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen and presented her with a painting by Rogan of Gujarat. For the uninitiated, Rogan painting is basically a cloth print seen in many parts of Gujarat but mainly practiced in Kutch district.

The paint used is usually made with oil boiled with natural vegetable dyes. Once ready, the paint is printed onto the fabric or canvas, using either a metal block (for printing) or a stylus (for painting).

Unfortunately, it is not practiced as widely as it once was; the craft nearly died out in the late 20th century and is now practiced by only a few families living in the state.

It should be noted that the process of preparing a painting of Rogan is laborious. As mentioned earlier, the paint is prepared by boiling castor oil for up to two days, after which vegetable pigments and a binder are added. The paint comes out thick, and the fabric chosen as the canvas is usually dark in color, so the design can stand out.

Popular patterns include florals, local art, animal prints, and more.

Prime Minister Modi also reportedly gifted a brass “tree of life” from Rajasthan to Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin and a silver Meenakari bird from Varanasi to Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary. Other gifts include a Dokra boat from Chattisgarh given to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, a Kutch embroidery wall hanging for PM of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, to name a few.

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About Catharine C. Bean

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