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Indian Painting

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Indian paintings provide an aesthetic continuum that extends from the early civilization to the present day. This form of art in India is vivid and lively, refined and sophisticated and bold and vigorous at the same time. From being essentially religious in purpose in the beginning, Indian paintings have evolved over the years to become a fusion of various traditions which influenced them.

Indian miniature painting is to be savored slowly, intently and privately. 'Miniature' generally refers to a painting or illumination, small in size meticulous in detail and delicate in brushwork. The art of palm-leaf illuminations were traditionally labeled as patra-lekhana in medieval Indian canons. But later a generalized term pata chitra was conveniently used to define other kinds of painting than wall painting. It indeed included painted scrolls and panels.

Indian Painting
Mughal Miniature Painting Depicting an Elderly Nobleman in Pavilion :

Indian Painting
Miniature Painting of Princess and Son Meeting with Companions Offering Gifts :



Indian PaintingThere are two distinct strands of painting in India. One is rooted in religious traditions and nurtured by the patronage of the rich and royal, and done mostly by men. The other is rooted in everyday life and folk tradition, and done mostly by women. To the former belong the Buddhist frescoes on the walls of the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, the miniature paintings of the Mughal court, and the different school of Rajasthani painting. The style of Ajanta paintings is truly indigenous and was revived in the early 20th century by Nandalal Bose in Santiniketan, West Bengal. Although Persian-inspired, Mughal and Rajasthani miniatures too are part and parcel of Indian painting of the former genre. Of the latter genre, the most famous are the Madhubani and Mithila paintings of Bihar, the Worli paintings of Maharashtra, the Mandana paintings of Rajasthan, which are basically wall and floor paintings.

Painting done not for art's sake but as a daily religious ritual include geometric and floral patterns on the floor by the womenfolk called kolam in the south of India, rangoli in Maharashtra, alpona in Bengal, aripana in Bihar and so on. Painting on cloth is exemplified by Kalamkari work of Kalahasti and Masulipatnamin Andhra Pradesh, and phad painting of Rajasthan. Quite unique is Tanjavur paintings embellished with gold leaf and semi-precious stones, which were originally commissioned by Maratha kings of the 18th century.
The Indian paintings have now acquired a stature of their own. They use materials and techniques from all over the world but express Indian realities and Indian experiences. The respect for tradition and the ability to transcend it at the same time is clearly evident in Indian art of today. This is the essence of what has been described as the eclecticism of the Indian contemporary expression.

Today there are Painting Exhibitions held in all over the country in big cities like Kolkatta, Mumbai, Delhi, Agra.

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