Monday, July 27, 2009

Ethnic Miniature Paintings – Ancient Art of India


The birth of Indian miniature paintings can be traced back to 6th and 7th century AD. Miniature art has intricate, colorful illumination or paintings, small in size, executed meticulously with delicate brushwork. Several styles have emerged in varied locations and this could be explained by the shifts of royal lineages in the corridors of power. The first to arrive were the Kashmiri Miniatures and the earliest to arrive were the 11th century ‘ Pala’ miniatures.

Krishna with Radha in Miniature
The miniatures artists expressed themselves through mediums on paper, ivory panels, wooden tablets, leather table, cloth and walls. The ‘ Kangra’ miniatures of the Pahari schools in the 18th century had an influence of the Mughals, yet had specialty. They were replications of religious texts like ‘Gita Govindam’ from Hindu mythology.

Medieval kings and their consorts in miniature paintings
The Jain manuscripts of western India, now preserved in the temples of Rajasthan and Gujarat, are the source of miniatures of the Jain school of art. These manuscripts are inscribed on palm leaves and are illustrated with stylish miniatures. Mughal court style and several distinct schools of Rajasthan miniatures were born: the Mewar or Udaipur school, the Bundi school, the Jishangarh school, the Bikaner school and the Alwar school.

Artists work on Miniature painting
Miniature paintings were once made on a base of ivory but since the use of ivory has been banned now, this art has now found expression on canvas.



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