LOT NO.
50

Senaka Senanayake

Mara Yudhaya
oil on canvas
35 x 59 in. (88.9 x 149.8 cm.)
painted in 1998
Starting Bid: $ 22,000
Estimate: US$ 25,000 - 35,000
Starts in

Lot Details

Signed and dated 'Senaka Senanayake 1998' (lower left)

Many supernatural creatures populate Buddhist literature, but among these, Mara is unique. He is one of the earliest non-human characters to appear in Buddhist scriptures. He is a demon, sometimes referred to as an embodiment of Death, and plays a role in many stories that feature the Buddha and his monks. Mara is best known for his part in the Buddha's enlightenment.

This image shows The Buddha, serene and on the seat of meditation. Surrounding him are a fury of animals and human beings. To the extreme right approaches the dreaded Mara, on whose command the beasts and seductresses attempt to disrupt The Buddha’s meditation. While portraying this contrast between poise and pandemonium, the image features a range of colours that come together perfectly, each complimenting the other. The sense, perhaps, that is sought to be conveyed is the seamless ability of a meditative mind to dwell in chaos and yet remain above and untouched by it.

Senaka Senanayake

(b. 1951)
A Sri Lankan by origin, Senaka attained fame early in life as a prodigy for his works of art. He held his first international solo exhibition at the age of ten, in New York. Although he painted copiously and held many shows both in his native country as well as abroad, it was only after he went to Yale school for graduation in Art and Architecture did he realize that his true calling lay in the field of art. For the past decade, Senanayake has concentrated his art as a medium for environmental advocacy: depicting beautiful scenes from the rainforest to promote public awareness of environmental degradation in his native Sri Lanka and around the world. Senanayake's work shows a fervent passion for nature's beauty and a great knowledge of the flora and fauna of the rainforest. His work has been shown at most parts of Europe and South Asia with critical acclaim. Till date he has more than 100 solo shows to his credit, and numerous group shows in the countries of Europe, China, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Czechoslovakia, Korea and Egypt to name a few. His work has been documented by Metro Goldwyn, British Movietone News, BBC TV, London, Yeo Soo TV, South Korea, TV Austria, and Star TV, India. Various journals, magazines and newspapers such as The New York Sunday Times, Washington Post, London Times, Weser Kurier, Germany, UNESCO Features, Paris, National Geographic Magazine, Asia Week and many others, have devoted their mediums to document Senaka’s work. He Lives and works in Sri Lanka.