Indian Paintings Part 1

Indian Paintings

Part 3

Rajasthani School of Painting

  • The Rajasthani School of painting takes inspiration from Indian epics, religious texts like the Puranas, love poems in Sanskrit and other Indian languages, Indian folk-lore and works on musical themes.
  • Since the Rajputs were the main ruling class at the time and patronised most of the artists, the Rajasthani School of Painting is more or less synonymous with the Rajput School of Painting.
  • Rajput courts began to patronise painting in order to emulate the Mughal court’s methods.

Salient features of Rajasthani paintings

  • This style of painting is deeply rooted in Indian traditions.
  • The cults of Vaishnavism, Saivism and Saktiexercised tremendous influence on the pictorial art of this school.
  • Various cults of Krishna provided a very rich field to the painter who with his artistic skill and devotion made a significant contribution to the development of Indian painting.
  • The Rajasthani School of painting is marked by bold drawing, strong and contrasting colors.
  • The treatment of figures is flat without any attempt to show perspective in a naturalistic manner.
  • Sometimes the surface of the painting is divided into several compartments of different colours in order to separate one scene from another.
  • Mughal influence is seen in the refining of drawing and some element of naturalism introduced in figures and trees.
  • Apart from depicting stories from the Ramayana and the royal lifestyle of kings and queens were also depicted.
  • They also portrayed social values and the changes introduced by kings for the betterment of society. The background of the paintings formed a special feature of the Rajasthani School.
  • Paper, ivory and silk was used as their canvas in this school of painting.

Subdivisions of Rajasthani School of Painting

Bundi school of painting:
  • This style of painting is dated back to 1625 AD.
  • A painting showing Bhairavi Ragini, in the Allahabad Museum is one of the earliest examples of Bundi painting.
  • Themes from the life of Krishna is a major theme in this school of painting.
  • The salient characteristic of this school of painting is the rich and glowing colours, the rising sun in golden colour, crimson-red horizon, overlapping and semi-naturalistic trees
  • The Mughal influence is visible in the refined drawing of the faces and an element of naturalism in the treatment of the trees. The text is written in black against yellow background on the top.
Malwa School of painting:
  • Malwa paintings show a fondness for rigorously flat compositions, black and chocolate-brown backgrounds, figures shown against a solid colour patch, and architecture painted in lively colour.
  • The school’s most appealing features are a primitive charm and a simple childlike vision.
  • The earliest work in this style is an illustrated version of the Rasikapriyā(1634), followed by a series illustrating a Sanskrit poem called the Amaru Śataka (1652).
  • There are also illustrations of the musical modes (Ragamala), the Bhagavata-Puraṇa, and other Hindu devotional and literary works.
Mewar school of painting:
  • The works of the school are characterized by simple bright colour and direct emotional appeal.
  • The earliest example of Mewar painting is a series of the Ragamalapainted in 1605 CE at Chawand, a small place near Udaipur, by Misardi.
  • Most of the paintings of this series are in the collection of Shri Gopi Krishna Kanoria.
  • The expressive and vigorous style continued with some variations through 1680 in the region, after which time Mughal influence became more apparent.
  • An increasing number of paintings were concerned with portraiture and the life of the ruler, though religious themes were popular