Art and artists made progress only at times when the country prospered. Therefore at  that time when the country was faced with the threat of foreign invasions, if any, art works of some merit appeared, they were few and far between. The art works of Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya could be categorized as one of those rare efforts during that Era.

One of Sri Lanka's foremost  and distinguished artists Solius Mendis' name naturally comes in to one's mind when one thinks of the great art works of the Kelaniya Rajamaha Viharaya. Although the new tradition of ancient art which had its birth at  the hands of Solius Mendis did not proceed beyond the confines of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya. It undoubtedly laid the foundation for a new era of art in this country.

Kelaniya frescoes which were produced as a result of dedicated effort over a period of 20 years by Solius Mendis is considered the most distinguished of all such works of art in this century. Pictures depicting how the Bo sapling of Sri Maha Bodhi was brought to Sri Lanka, bringing of the Tooth Relic to Lanka and the clash between Chulodara and Mahodara, have earned the acclamation of both local and foreign historians and artists.

A Number of outstanding features in the Kelaniya arts. The foremost among them is the depiction of positive feelings, which is common in most oriental art. He also observes that the artists has brought out the great human qualities of the Buddha in the paintings without making an undue effort to magnify his qualities.


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