(Last Updated on : 12/06/2017)
History of Indian paintings has lots of riches for people to enjoy and experience. For the usual humid climate in India the preservation of paintings have been difficult than other forms of art
. Some of the earliest Indian paintings
have been rock paintings of the prehistoric times. In places like Bhimbetka
, petrogyyphs are found, some of them happen to be from 5500 BC.
in India is filled with examples of texts which go on to describe mansions of kings and aristocratic class overstated with paintings, but the Ajanta Caves
are very significant of them all. Indian paintings offer a visual variety which expands from the early evolution to the present day. From being basically religious in purpose in the beginning, Indian painting has developed over the years to become a combination of a variety of cultures and traditions.
Six Limbs of Indian Painting
Around the early period of 1st century BC there evolved Six Limbs of Indian Paintings or Sadaga. These 'Six Limbs' have been translated as follows:
Rupabheda: The knowledge of appearances.
Pramanam: Correct perception, measure and structure.
Bhava: Action of feelings on forms.
Lavanya: Yojanam Infusion of grace, artistic representation.
Varnikabhanga: Artistic manner of using the brush and colours.
Ancient Indian Paintings
Ancient Indian art has seen the rise of the Bengal School of art
in 1930s pursued by a lot of forms of experimentations in European and Indian styles. With the development of the economy the forms and styles of art also undergo many changes. Monuments
of the exceptional value are Bhimbetka Rock Shelters
, here, more than 500smaller rocks and caves contains thousands of paintings. Some of the oldest paintings here are more than 15000 years old, and in some cases it is 30,000 years old. The prehistoric art from is spread all over India from snow covered Himalayas
to south of Tamil Nadu
Indian Cave Paintings
are regarded as the earliest evidences of Indian paintings which are made on cave walls and palaces while miniature paintings
are small-sized colourful, intricate handmade illumination. This starts from prehistoric cave painting of Bhimbetka and flourishes through cave paintings
of Ajanta caves, Ellora caves
History of Indian Cave Paintings
like that of Ajanta and Ellora refers to the Buddhist
monks who employed painters
to draw the life and teachings of Lord Buddha
and Buddha Jataka
on the walls of the Ajanta caves, where they painted the figures along with their costumes
in beautiful colours and style while in Ellora caves the paintings are mostly of Hindu deities
Medieval Indian Paintings
During Medieval period, India observed important development in the field of art of painting. The Medieval India is the part of Indian history
between the 8th century and the 18the century A.D. The Persian
tradition of miniature painting was also first introduced by the local rulers. It was during Akbar
's supremacy that the painting was organized by a grand concern which brought jointly Hindu
painters and artisans from diverse parts of India, particularly, from regions like Gujarat
and miniature paintings had developed.
mainly describes Indo-Islamic design of painting and flourished in the ateliers of Mughal emperors
including Akbar, Jahangir
and Shah Jahan
. Tanjore Paintings
are classical South Indian form of painting
which evolved in the village
are miniature paintings of the finest quality, which are made both on paper and on large pieces of cloth. A number of famous schools of painting are Mewar, Hadoti
. It is also known as Rajput Paintings
and has clear influence of Mughal paintings
though it quite unique in its own way. Pahari Painting
is the miniature painting evolved in the hilly states
of Himachal Pradesh
, Jammu and Kashmir
during the period of Rajputs
. These paintings have beautiful scenes of Himalaya as the backdrop.
Modern Indian Paintings
Glass Painting in India
is a new concept and is extremely wonderful for its clarity and richness of colours. Patachitra
flourished in the state of Odisha
and is made on cloth with extremely vivid colours and mythology-based subject. Kalighat
pots are another form, which are made on earthen pot or cloth. These are mainly used as wall hangings. Marble Painting
is also a type of modern Indian painting which is made on exquisite marble stones. Marble paintings are mainly used for decorative purpose, especially on tabletop, furniture and flower
vases. The Indian artists adopted Indian Oil painting
as a unique technique of art and Raja Ravi Verma
was considered to be the pioneer who made this new medium popular in India.
Indian Folk Painting
gives a pictorial expression of village painters, which are marked by the subjects chosen from epics
and other mythological
is the form of art that involves weaving and block printing apart from painting. Silk Paintings
and fabric paintings are done on cloth or different types of fabric Bengal School of Arts and Madras School of Arts
were established by the British
to enhance the art culture in India