Indian Paintings Part 1

Indian Paintings Part 1

Indian Paintings

Part 1

Pre-Historic Painting

  • The subjects of their drawings were human figures, human activities, geometric designs and symbols.
  • In India the earliest paintings have been reported from the Upper Palaeolithic times.
  • Humans are represented in stick-like forms.
  • A long-snouted animal, a fox and a multiple legged lizard are the main animal motifs.
  • Wavy lines, rectangle-filled geometric designs, and groups of dots can also be seen here
  • The largest pre-historic paintings discovered in India belongs to the Mesolithic period.
  • Used minerals for pigments Eg: ochre or geru.
  • They used minerals in different colours.
  • Examples: Bhimbetka caves, MP; Jogimara caves, Chattisgarh; Narsingarh, MP

Mural Paintings

  • Murals are works that are painted on the walls or a solid structure.
  • The wall paintings in India have existed from the 2nd century BC to Medieval times.
  • Some of the places where this painting is found include- Ajanta, Bagh, Sittanavasal, Armamalai cave, Ravan Chhaya rock-shelter and Kailashnath temple in Ellora caves.
  • Majority of the themes in these paintings relates to religion- Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism.

Ajanta paintings

  • The subject matter of these paintings is almost exclusively Buddhist, excepting decorative patterns on the ceilings and the pillars.
  • They are mostly associated with the Jataka, collection of stories, recording the previous births of the Lord Buddha.
  • The painting of Bodhisattva Padmapani from cave I is one of the masterpieces of Ajanta Painting executed in the late 6th century CE.
  • Medium of Paintings: Mineral and vegetable dyes.
  • The paintings depict human values and social fabric, as well as period styles, clothes, and accessories.

Bagh Cave paintings

  • The paintings from Bagh caves in Madhya Pradesh in terms of design, execution, and ornamentation, are an extension of the Ajanta school.
  • The earliest Brahmanical paintings so far known, are the fragments found in Badami caves, in cave No.III belonging to circa 6th century A.D.
  • The painting of Siva and Parvati is found somewhat well preserved.
  • Rang Mahal, Cave No. 4, features exquisite murals on the walls illustrating Buddhist and Jataka tales, similar to those found in Ajanta.

Ellora paintings

  • A number of Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples were excavated from Ellora between the 8th and 10th centuries A.D.
  • Located nearly 100 Kms away from Ajanta caves in the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra, it is a group of 34 caves – 17 Brahmanical, 12 Buddhist and 5 Jain.
  • The most impressive of these, the Kailashnath Temple is a free standing structure which is in fact a monolith which has several fragments of painting on the ceiling of the different parts of this temple.
  • It was developed under the patronage of Rashtrakuta king Krishna I and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Cave No. 10 is a Buddhist Chaitya cave known as Vishwakarma Cave or carpenter’s cave wherein Buddha is seated in Vyakhyana Mudra here and Bodhi tree is carved at his back.

Badami cave paintings

  • Badami was the capital of the early Chalukyan dynasty which ruled the region from 543 to 598 CE.
  • The inscription in Cave No.4 mentions the date 578–579 CE, describes the beauty of the cave and includes the dedication of the image of Vishnu.
  • The paintings found here are stylistically similar to the ones found in Ajanta.

Vijayanagara Murals

  • The paintings at Tiruparakunram, near Trichy, done in the fourteenth century represent the early phase of the Vijayanagara style.
  • In Hampi, the Virupaksha temple has paintings on the ceiling of its mandapa narrating events from dynastic history and episodes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
  • Lines become still but fluid, compositions appear in rectilinear compartments.

Kerala murals

  • Kerala painters (during the period from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century) evolved a pictorial language and technique of their own while discriminately adopting certain stylistic elements from Nayaka and Vijayanagara schools.
  • More than sixty sites have been found with mural paintings which include three palaces—Dutch palace in Kochi, Krishnapuram palace in Kayamkulam and Padmanabhapuram palace.