Miniature Paintings of Rajasthan

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Item Code: NAB133
Author: Dr. Daljeet
Publisher: National Museum, New Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2000
Pages: 17 (Ten Color Plates)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 17.3" x 11.5"
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Book Description
Rajasthani miniatures, though the earliest known ones are of a much recent late 16th century origin and betray considerable influence of Mughal art which had attained by then great perfection, fall in the line with Ajanta murals and Gupta sculptures wherein feeling dominates the form, interior characterises the exterior, emotions command motions, and lines and colors conveys something deeper contained within. Stylistic influence of Mughal art constitutes only the body, the outer casement of a Rajasthani miniature, Rajasthan, her people, the character of her soil, her culture, life-style, traditions, colors, climate, always enshrining as its soul. Rajasthani painters, it seems, did not see their subject with a cameratic eye copying just the surface. Descending deep into its soul they sought to recreate it in its absoluteness, with all that was within and all that was without. Abul Fazl, Akbar's court-historian, has rightly observed in his Ain-I-Akbari that things in paintings from Rajasthan spoke of something more than what they ordinarily meant.

Mughal influence, howsoever decisive it was, thus remained confined to mere stylistic innovations in Rajasthani paintings, their main inspiration coming from the Jain paintings of the neighboring Gujarat with whom Rajasthan seems to have shares some of her early, though otherwise late, Jain Kalpasutra paintings which were mostly votive rendered out of devotion receded to the 5th century. The Rajasthani painter, with a mind inspired by such votive and devotional ancient art cult, while seeking to recreate his own world, unknowingly sought from his Ajanta, Gupta and Gujarat Kalpa-sutra predecessor his art vision, and made Rajasthani miniatures, a comparatively late school of Indian art, an instrument of the essential ancient mind.

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