(Last Updated on : 29/10/2012)
Numerous types of Indian painting have emerged in the due course of time in different geographic locations as a result of religious and cultural impact. The paintings of India can be broadly classified under wall paintings and miniature paintings. The different types of Indian paintings fall under this two broad categories but again they can also be classified depending on their evolution, emergence and style. Almost all of the ancient paintings are engraved on the wall of temples and caves. Miniature paintings are the ones made on small canvasses of papers and clothes. This type of art mainly evolved in the medieval age narrating the royal life which is quite popular now.
The technique and medium are the two major aspects of painting. Depending on these, paintings can be further classified as Patachitra
, Marble paintings, Batik, Kalamkari
, Silk paintings, Velvet paintings, Palm Leaf Etchings, Glass painting in India
, etc. With the border of art shrinking and the world becoming a global village huge patterns of art form are in vogue. Finally religion and culture also have immense impact on paintings. Folk paintings, Indo-Islamic art and Buddhist art are different types. Mostly the paintings on the walls of caves and temples depict many aspects of Hinduism
Indian cave paintings
are regarded as the earliest evidences of Indian paintings that use the cave walls and palaces as canvas while miniature paintings are small-sized colourful, intricate handmade illumination. Different types of Indian painting evolved in different periods of history. There are several styles that can be recognised. This starts from prehistoric cave painting of Bhimbetka
and flourishes through cave paintings of Ajanta caves
, Ellora caves
and Bagh. Bhimbetka of Madhya Pradesh
records a range of prehistoric paintings discovered in numerous caves. The paintings span a period of 600 years starting from upper Palaeolithic to early historic and medieval times. Cave Paintings of Ajanta and Ellora refer to the Buddhist monks who employed painters to draw the life and teachings of Lord Buddha
on the walls of the Ajanta caves. The figures along with their costumes and jewelleries in beautiful colours and style can be manifested in Ajanta while Ellora caves have the paintings that are mostly of Hindu deities.
The miniature paintings of medieval period include Mughal paintings, Rajasthani paintings which blossomed under the observation and patronage of a number of kings and royal patronage.
Paintings of the Mughal are the amalgamations of indo-Islamic style of painting which flourished in the ateliers of Mughal emperors including Akbar
and Shah Jahan
, delineating neatly the court life of Mughal royal society. Tanjore Paintings
are classical South Indian form of painting which evolved in the village of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu
state well-known for its richness and compactness of forms and vivid colours.
These Paintings are miniature paintings of the finest quality, which are made both on paper and on large pieces of cloth. Different parts of the state stick to their own style, and are thus recognized as different schools of paintings. A number of famous schools of painting are Mewar
, Marwar, Kishangarh
. Rajasthani painting has clear influences of Mughal paintings though it is quite distinct in its own way.
Indian paintings can further be classified according to their different origin. Among numerous types, Mithila paintings
painting, Pahari painting
, Lepakshi painting must be mentioned.
Women belonging to the small town called Madhubani and other villages of Mithila mainly do Madhubani Paintings or Mithila Paintings
. Formerly they were made on mud walls of small hut but now they are carved on paper and clothes also. The subject involves Hindu gods and goddesses, the natural objects like moon and sun, sacred plant like Tulsi
and its specialty remains in use of vegetable colours.
is the miniature painting beautiful scenes of Himalaya as the backdrop. Evolved in the hilly states of Himachal Pradesh
, Jammu and Kashmir
during the period of Rajputs
they have an essence of rugged nature. There are three distinct schools named Basholi, Guler-Kangra and Sikh.
Another type of Indian painting is the Lepakshi Painting; a wall painting made on the walls of temple of Lepakshi, a small village in Anantpur district
of Andhra Pradesh
Glass Painting thrives to be one type of Indian painting which is comparatively a recent form. It is extremely delightful to the connoisseur's eyes for its clarity and richness of colours. The glass is engraved and then coloured from the reverse side. Patachitra flourishing in the state of Orissa
, 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 and find their use as wall hangings. Marble Painting is also a type of Indian painting which is also a recent form of painting made on exquisite marble stones; the subject varying from traditional ones to contemporary. Marble paintings are mainly used for decorative purpose, especially on tabletop, furniture and flower vases.
Batik Painting or wax writing refers to the technique which involves waxing and de-waxing and subtle use of colour shades. The process is popular in West Bengal
, Orissa Tamil Nadu
states and is used for dress materials, wall hangings, scarf, etc. Kalamkari is the form of art that involves weaving and block printing apart from painting. Silk Paintings provide the charm and the mystique sense of silk are used as canvas of portrait or painting, which gives a very elegant, soft but bright look. Palm Leaf Etching is among the most ancient form of art, which evolved mainly in Orissa and known as Talapatrachitra.
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 like Ramayana
and other mythological stories. Silk Paintings and fabric paintings are done on cloth or different types of fabric.
Different types of Indian paintings have been introduced in different times of history. The forms of paintings have become popular from different regions and finally found its place in the international domain of art.