Indian painting style and history
The history of Indian painting is very old but due to climate change, the remains of the oldest paintings are in a shabby state.The earliest known Indian paintings are rock paintings and stone paintings.
The earliest examples of Indian painting are from prehistoric times, when humans used to paint on the walls of caves.
The paintings of Ajanta and Ellora caves in the 7th century are the best examples of Indian painting.
We can see that like the Indian culture, in Indian painting also a special kind of continuity is seen from ancient times till today.’
Indian painting was mainly inspired by religious sentiment during the ancient and
medieval times, now in modern era of paintings, it represents a largely cosmic life. Today Indian painting is taking up the theme of folk life and making them tangible.
Styles of Indian Painting
Indian painting can be broadly divided into murals and miniature paintings. Mural painting is the painting done on the walls of caves, for example the Ajanta caves and the Kailashnath temple of Ellora can be named.
The miniature painting is done on a small scale on paper or cloth. The Pala rulers of Bengal are credited with the introduction of miniature paintings
The construction of these caves lasted for about 1000 years. Most of the caves were built during the Gupta period. The caves of Ajanta belong to the Mahayana branch of Buddhism.
The most prominent among the Hindu caves is the Kailash temple of the eighth century. Apart from this, it also has Jain and Buddhist caves
Tiger and Elephanta Caves
The subjects of tiger caves are related to cosmic life. The pictures of music and dance received from here are very attractive. The Portuguese named it Elephanta for being an elephant statue.
Its centers were Rajasthan, Gujarat and Malwa.
In the Jain style in the country, first paper was used for painting in place of palm papers. In this art style, paintings of Jain Tirthankaras were made.
The influence of the Persian style on this style is also evident.
The reign of Nasirshah (1500–1510 AD) marked a new turning point in manuscript depiction, along with the Neetanama depicted in Mandu.
This style developed during the reign of the Pal dynasty rulers of Bengal from mid-9-12th century. The theme of this style was influenced by Buddhism. This illustrative style of illustration also influenced the painting of Nepal and Tibet.
The Mughal painting style is a typical example of an Indian, Persian and Muslim mix. A new era in India began in the field of miniature painting during the reign of Akbar. One of his masterpieces is Hamzanama. Mughal painting is noted for dramatic skill and deepness of paintbrush.
Jahangir himself was also a good painter. He encouraged his painters to make imagery and court scenes. Ustad Mansoor, Abdul Hasan and Bishan Das were the best painters of his court. During the reign of Shah Jahan, there was not much work in the field of painting, because he was more interested in architecture and architectural art.
Rajput painting style
The Rajput painting style developed during the 18th century at the court of Rajputana states. These states developed a special type of painting style, although they have some similar elements due to which it was named Rajput style.
The style is based on purely Hindu traditions. The paintings related to Ragamala are quite important in this style. In this style, mainly miniature paintings were made. An extraordinary feature of Rajput painting is the configuration of figures.
Small figures are also clearly depicted. This style developed in many branches
Malwa Style: The Malwa style is distinctive due to its bright and dark colors. Rasikapriya is the major series of Malwa style paintings
Mewar Style: The background in Mewar style is generally embellished and full of architecture.
Bikaner style: Most of the artists of Bikaneri style were Muslim. This style is famous for its subtle and dull colors.
Bundi Style: In this style, some criteria were established for portraying female beauty.
Kota Style: Kota style is very similar to Bundi style. In this style, pictures of lions and cheetah hunting in rare forests are world famous.
Amber Style: Amber style paintings are rich and have subject diversity but lacks precision.
Kishangarh Style: The depiction of the woman with advanced frontal, arched eyebrows, sharp advanced nose, thin sensitive lips and advanced chibuk is typical of this style
Marwar style: The paintings of this style have some characteristics of the turban. Color combination has a predominance of bright colors.
Pahari painting style: Nepali painting has wide influence on the texture of painted trees of this art. The Krishna saga is very popular among hill painters. Basauli style, Garhwal style,
Jammu style and Kangra style are sub-styles of Pahari painting style.
The Bengal style of painting flourished during the British Raj in the early 20th century. It was a style inspired by Indian nationalism, but it was also encouraged by many art loving British administrators. Rabindranath Tagore’s nephew Avanindranath Tagore was the earliest painter of this style.
He made many beautiful paintings influenced by the Mughal style. Tagore’s most famous work was Bharata-Mata in which India was depicted as a Hindu goddess. After 1920, this style declined with the rise of Indian nationalism
During the colonial period, the western influence on Indian art was fully felt. During this period there were many painters who made beautiful depictions of Indian subjects disguised as Western outlook and realism. At the same time, there were artists like Gemini Roy who took inspiration from folk art.
After Indian independence, progressive artists chose new themes and mediums to express the aspirations of post-independence India.
Among the six prominent painters of this group, K.H. Aga, S. K. Goat, H.A. Gade, M. F. Hussain, S. H. Raza and F. N. Souza included.
The group was disbanded in 1956 but in a short time it completely changed the Indian painting scenario .
A famous painter of this period is Amrita Shergill who created a new Indian style.
Other great painters include Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and Ravi Varma.
The current famous painters include Bal Chabda, VS. Gaitonde, Krishnan Khanna, Ramkumar, Tayeb Mehta and Akbar Padamsee. Zahra Dasgupta, Prodas Karmakar and Bijon Chaudhary have also contributed to enrich Indian art and culture.