Indian Paintings

The Ancient, Colorful World of Indian Paintings

India had a fine tradition in the art of painting, and most of the paintings of the early medieval period were based on religious themes and showed episodes from the Hindu epics or Jain and Buddhist literature.

The exquisite beautiful colored paintings at Ajanta and Ellora were created between AD 600 and 1000. the Paintings and sculptures are devoted to Buddhism Hinduism and Jainism. Most of the Paintings tell ancient tales of courtly life and depict Buddhist legends from the Jataka tales.

The Advent of Mughals

During the period of the Delhi Sultans, the art of paintings declaimed as the rulers obeyed the teachings of the Koran which discouraged the reproduction of the human form through sculpture and paintings.

The rule of the Mughals Saw the revival of the best in paintings and it marked an improved stage in the growth of this art. Humayun brought two famous person painters with him. Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdus samad. They introduced the art of miniature paintings to India. Miniature paintings are small but highly detailed paintings.

Akbar brought Persian and Indian artists together and a new style of paintings was born the Indo Persian school of paintings. Miniature paintings were also used to illustrate manuscripts and books examples of which can be seen in the Baburnama the Akbarnama the Tutunama etc.

Jahangir was deeply interested in painting two of the most eminent painters of his time were Abul Hassan and Ustad Mansur.

Shah Jahan’s reign saw the art of paintings reach its zenith. Artists of his time were influenced not only by the Hindu style but the European style as well. Portrait paintings became lifelike and graceful during his time unlike the stiff ones of the earlier times.

Aurangzeb believed in the tenets of the Koran and discouraged painters in his court. They migrated to the various regional kingdoms where they established different schools of paintings.

Native India Paintings

Distinct styles of miniature paintings like the Kangra the Rajasthani and the Deccani developed. The main theme of the paintings of the Kangra and the Rajasthani schools was devotional. Several paintings illustrate stories about Radha and Krishna and Krishna and the gopis. The Deccani paintings focused more on-court scenes and scenes of battle. Portraits were also done by all the schools. The emphasis was on detail and the use of vibrant colors. During Shah Jahan’s time, gold was also used in paintings. The Rajputs seem to have preferred the miniature style of Painting. They also painted the walls of their palaces and Havelis with intricate designs and images of Radha and Krishna.

Religious Significance of Paintings

The artists used natural colors derived from minerals, Plants, conch shells, gold and silver to create the miniatures. It sometimes took weeks to prepare some of the colors.

In the south, the temples were storehouses of paintings. The inner walls of the prakara and the mandapas and the ceilings were profusely adorned with paintings of scenes from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata the Bhagavatam etc. in the Brihadeswara temple in the Thanjavur all around the inner walls of the garbhagriha various karanas (dance poses) of Bharatanatyam have been painted in vivid colors that have not faded even after 1000 years.

Here you can buy original masterpieces from all traditions and styles of Indian Paintings.