Rome was not built in a day, and nor did the paintings we see today. Everything has a whole lot of evolution behind it and so do Indian paintings. There has been a tremendous shift in Indian paintings. From the themes of the paintings to the source of
Though we are still under a rock when it comes to pinning to the exact point of the beginning of mankind, we do have a rough estimate thanks to the archaeological extractions. And the one thing that has been found prominent and persistent throughout the evolution and history of mankind till date are paintings.
Without further ado, let us get
The oldest known existence of paintings
Just as history repeats itself, murals seem to have made a comeback too. Murals are paintings made directly on the wall or ceiling rather than being hanged.
Talking about the history of murals, we can see its traces as early as 2
Ajanta and Ellora caves, Ravan Chhaya Rock Shelter, Armamalai Cave, Sittanavasal Cave, and Bagh Cave are the clear
Mainly religious themes of Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism have been depicted through these murals.
MIDDLE KINGDOMS & LATE MEDIEVAL PERIOD
Eastern Indian Painting
These are called miniature paintings because they have been painted on palm tree leaves (around 2.25 – 3 inches) and their wooden base. Though the styles diminished from our country by the end of 12
Western Indian Painting
Similar to Eastern Indian Paintings, Western India also saw the
However, while miniature art disappeared from East India in the 12
Most of these paintings are in sync with Indian manuscripts, Sanskrit and folk literature, and mythological scripts.
Earlier painted on palm tree leaves called ‘Taadpatra’, they gradually shifted to paper. The most common features are side faced humans, big eyes, sharp nose, long hair, traditional outfits, Lord Krishna as blue and rest humans as white or brown, and depiction of nature.
The most well-known painter of Western Indian Paintings is Vaachhak.
EARLY MODERN PERIOD
Mughal period saw the rise of incredible painters, paintings, and painting styles. Mughal paintings have a unique blend of Persian, Islamic, and Indian styles. Between the 16
Influenced by Persian Miniature paintings, Mughal paintings inspired Deccan, Pahari, and Rajput styles of painting.
Mughals wanted the world to remember them and thus took their artists to all the expeditions, hunts, missions, marriages, religious tours, and even Durban meetings.
Mughal paintings came to an end with the reign of Aurangzeb, who has no liking for any sort of fine
Deccan, Jaunpur, and Malwa Schools of Painting
Similarly, the manuscript of Nujum-
Though you will find the maximum paintings to be miniature, murals have also been found running through the palaces,
Hindu mythology is the central theme
The entire South Indian town of Tanjore in Tamil Nadu is said to be the native of Tanjore painting. Tanjore paintings have been in existence since the 9
The themes are mainly related to Hindu mythology consisting of bright
From Jammu to Almora and Garhwal, through Himachal Pradesh, Pahari Painting flourished from 17
The Mithila region of Bihar practised and aced a painting style which they called Madhubani painting. The major themes were Hindu mythology along with scenes of social events such as marriages and scenes of the royal court.
BRITISH COLONIAL PERIOD
Early Modern Indian Painting
India finally saw the face of formal art schools – Government College of Fine Arts, Madras in 1850, Government College of Art & Craft, Calcutta in 1854, and Sir J.J. School of Art, Bombay in 1857.
Raja Ravi Varma is considered to be the pioneer of modern Indian paintings due to his extensive use of easel painting and oil paints. Though he drew on Western traditions, his subjects were mostly Indian mythological such as Hindu deities as well as episodes from the Puranas and Epics.
- Bengal School of Art
During the British Raj in India during the early 20
Bengal school of art was associated with Indian Nationalism.
POST INDEPENDENCE & CONTEMPORARY ART
After Independence, India saw the rise of many art schools throughout the country. These art schools were well equipped with advanced tools and trending
As for contemporary art, abstract art is the new go-to for artists in India. However, the painting industry has so many varied names and styles, that it is almost impossible to point to one style Indians call their own.
Today, we are living in a country where taking inspiration from the gone era is as important as coming up with new and latest ideas.