Indian culture is seeped in its traditions and deep-rooted history and Indian art forms are a reflection of that culture. Bursts of colour and vivid mythological descriptions dominate the canvas. The Indian styles of paintings have unique origins and history behind them which make them even more interesting. Here are 8 Indian art styles which you should know about.
1. Madhubani Painting- Bihar
These paintings find their origins and derive their name from a village called ‘Madhubani’ in Bihar. These paintings were first painted by the artists hailing from this village. King Janakraj, father of Sita wanted the artists to capture moments of Sita’s wedding ceremony with Lord Ram. Hence, these paintings came to be known as ‘Mithila’ Paintings. Predominately, the themes revolve around mythology, Hindu Gods and various royal court scenarios.
2. Tanjore Painting- Tamil Nadu
Tanjore style of paintings were first painted during the 16th century and under the Chola regime, this art form found its calling. Known for its use of vibrant colours, rich surfaces, and embellishments, Tanjore paintings originated from the Thanjavur district in Tamil Nadu. The themes of Tanjore paintings are mostly Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Interestingly, the main subject is always painted in the center of the frame. Tanjore Paintings are painted on wooden planks which are colloquially known as ‘Palagai Padam‘.
3. Warli Art- Maharashtra
Warli art is a 400-year-old tribal art form from Maharashtra. Painted mostly by the Warli tribe women, paintings in this art form are based on nature, harvest, weddings and fertility. Initially painted on the walls of the houses, Warli Art has gained immense popularity and is painted on home furnishings, décor, and murals.
4. Pattachitra Painting- Orissa
Pattachitra folk painting hails from the state of Orissa. They originated during the 8th century and is suppose to be one of the earliest forms of indigenous art. ‘Patta’ means ‘clothing’ and ‘chitra’ stands for paintings, so pictures in this art form are painted on a cloth base. Pattachitra art is inspired by the Jagannath and Vaishnava cult. Depictions of Pattachitra art can be seen in the famous Konark Temple in Orissa.
5. Mughal Painting- Mughal Era
The Mughal painting reflects a synthesis of Indian, Persian and Islamic art styles. This art form evolved between 16th and 19th centuries. The theme centred around battles, receptions, court scenes, hunting scenes, legendary stories, portraits and wildlife. Interestingly, Victoria and Albert Museums in London have huge collections of Mughal paintings.
6. Rajput Painting- Rajputana
Rajput art forms flourished in the 18th century in the royal courts of Rajputana. Scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata dictate this art form. Colours used for these paintings were extracted from precious minerals like gold and silver, stones and plant sources. This was a lengthy process and would sometimes even take weeks.
7. Kalamkari Painting- Andhra Pradesh
Kalamkari literally means, “pen-art”. Kalamkari paintings are either hand painted or block printed on cotton fabric. This art form flourished under the rule of the Golconda Sultanat. It was first developed and evolved at Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh but its popularity soon spread to the other states. As far as the popular belief goes, in olden days, groups of artisans, musicians and singers known as chitrakattis would travel from village to village and narrate tales of Hindu mythology. As time passed, they even started illustrating these stories on canvas and thus Kalamkari was born.
8. Gond Painting- Madhya Pradesh
Gond paintings are a native art form from Madhya Pradesh. Gond art is characterised mostly by animals and birds. Gond paintings are an expression of religious sentiments and everyday life depictions.
You’ve artistically learnt something new. 🙂