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Indian Paintings : Types of Paintings in India

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Indian Paintings : Types of Paintings in India

The different forms of painting during different ages were influenced by the ruling dynasties of that era. Following are some of the important forms of paintings in Indian History.

Mughal Painting

Mughal PaintingThe Mughal Style of painting refers to the art form developed during the Mughal Era during 16th to 19th centuries. These paintings done in miniature style were a unique blend of Indian, Persian and Islamic Styles. These paintings depicted the activities during the Mughal time, with similar costumes and splendor.

The miniature art form saw a new revival during the reign of Akbar. He was the first Mughal king who paid great emphasis on the development of various art forms. He called a genre of best artists from India and Persia to assemble in Fatehpur Sikri. After Akbar, Shah Jahan and Jehangir also continued the lineage of preserving the art of paintings.

Rajput Paintings

Rajput style of Paintings evolved in the 18th century, in various courts of Rajput in India. Although each court had a different style of work, there were a number of common features shared by them.

Rajput paintings depict a number of themes, events of epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Krishna’s life, beautiful landscapes, and humans. These paintings are generally in miniature style. These paintings are contemporaries of Mughal painting. Such paintings are again classified as Rajasthani style and Pahari Style. The paintings moreover depicted religious themes.

Mysore Paintings

Mysore PaintingMysore painting, a kind of South Indian painting was developed in the town of Mysore in Karnataka. The themes of these paintings mainly revolved around Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

The painting proceeds in a step-wise manner. Initially a cartridge paper is pasted on a wooden base. A paste made of Zinc oxide and Arabic gum is made called "gesso paste". With the help of a thin brush all the jewellery and parts of throne or the arch which have some relief are painted over to give a slightly raised effect of carving. This is allowed to dry. On this thin gold foil is pasted. The rest of the drawing is then painted using watercolors. Only muted colors were used for these paintings.

Tanjore Paintings

Tanjore PaintingSimilar to Mysore paintings, Tanjore paintings are a form of classical South Indian paintings. This form of art developed in the Tanjore Area in Tamil Nadu. During the reign of Chola rulers, around 9th Century the art form took its form as Chola Rulers were great promoters of art and architecture. Also, the themes of the paintings revolve around Hindu Gods and Goddesses and the Hindu mythology.



Madhubani Paintings


The Madhubani style of painting evolved in the Mithila region of Bihar. These paintings also denote religious events and date back to the age of epics like Ramayana. The art form is traditionally carried out by women folk.

Modern Paintings

Paintings like other form of art and culture have had influences from other traditions and customs. During the advent of Colonial Rule in India, there was a lot of Western influence observed in various forms of art. During the time of Independence, many schools of art had already developed in India and were a source of constant ideas of development. In all, Modern paintings encapsulate modern western thinking combined with Indian expertise in the art form.
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