(Last Updated on : 26/12/2009)
The tradition of painting in India is as old and varied as the land itself. The painting as a form of art has started in India since the prehistoric times. The earliest paintings in India is found on the walls of the caves in Bhimbetka
in Madhya Pradesh
where the prehistoric men engraved and painted the scenes from game, the animals and man in the simple geometric lines and colors on the cave walls.
These painted geometric designs and symbols have also been found in the pottery items belonging to the Indus valley civilization. The traditional painting in India reached the highest point in the exquisite murals and frescoes on the walls of cave Ajanta
. The life and style and shade of colors of Ajanta and Ellora cave paintings are still marvel to the beholders` eyes. The other examples of cave paintings are Bagh and Sittanvasal, which testify to the love of naturalism.
This tradition of Indian Art
and also the traditional Indian painting continued to the medieval period, which is remembered for the Persian styled miniature painting introduced by the Mughal
s. This style also influenced local miniature schools in Rajasthan
and Himachal Pradesh
. The Buddhist palm leaf manuscripts are other aspect of Indian medieval painting.
With time, Indian traditional painting became a sort of blend of various traditions and culture, still each was distinct with their own style. The Mughal paintings were exclusive combination of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles. While the Mughal painting
s exclusively depict the court life, the Mithila
or Madhubani art was simply rustic expression of village woman, narrating folk life and mythologies. Madhubani paintings became part of festivities and special occasions like marriage.
The Pahari Paintings are other forms of miniature paintings that flourished during the period of 17th to 19th century. This is a form of Rajput painting, which evolved in the Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab states of India and also revealing the various focal themes. The Rajput paintings evolved in the late 16th to 17th century and typically showed the Mughal influence as Mughals ruled the most of the small princely states in Rajasthan.
The Mysore painting
, which is indeed a classical form of South Indian
traditional, painting, evolved in the Mysore city in the Karnataka and flourished mostly under the reign of Wodeyars. Tanjore painting
is another classical art of South India, which developed in the Thanjavur
village of Tamilnadu and is marked distinctly for dense composition, surface richness and vibrant colors.
The different forms of traditional painting in India is therefore vivid and lively, refined and sophisticated, while bold and vigorous at the same time and still have the aesthetic value to the connoisseurs and art-collectors of India and abroad.