Different Types Of Indian Paintings
Painting as a form of art has flourished in India since prehistoric times. Unlike western art, these different types of Indian paintings cannot be described in terms of a linear development or chronology but is considered as evolving in parallel manner in course of time and space. There are different styles of paintings which emerged due course of time, different geographic locations, religious and cultural impact. Each style is distinct from other by its essence and technique though there is friendly and complex internal relationship by which they can be recognized as India’s own wealth.
The Indian painting can be broadly classified as wall paintings and miniature. The different types of paintings fall under this two broad category but again they can be classified depending on their evolution, emergence and style. Almost all of the ancient paintings are engraved on the wall of caves and temples. Miniature paintings are paintings made on small canvasses of clothes and papers. This type of art mainly evolved in the medieval age especially narrating the royal life and this form of art is popular until now.
Different types of paintings evolved in different historic period. There are numerous styles that can be recognized. This starts from prehistoric cave painting of Bhimbhetka and flourishes through cave paintings of Ajanta, Ellora and Bagh. These are all wall paintings. The miniature paintings of medieval period include Mogul paintings, Rajasthani paintings, which blossomed under the observation of many kings and royal patronage. There are many more to name but these are the most distinct style to recognize. Paintings can further be classified according to their different origin. Among numerous types Madhubani/Mithila painting, Pahari painting, Lepakshi painting are most effective to be mentioned.
Medium and technique are the two most important aspects of painting. Depending on these, paintings can be further classified as Glass paintings, Patachitra, Marble paintings, Batik, Kalamkari, Silk paintings, Velvet paintings, Palm Leaf Etchings etc. 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 Hindu and Buddhist religion.
The Bhimbhetka is a place in Madhya Pradesh where prehistoric paintings are discovered in numerous caves. The paintings span the period of 600 years starting from upper Paleolithic to early historic and medieval times. The prehistoric men used blunt stone tool to engrave and used branch and twigs as their brush. For colors they used different minerals as well as stone, earth and coals. Cave Paintings 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 Ajanta caves, where they painted the figures along with their costumes and jewelries in beautiful colors and style while in Ellora caves the paintings are mostly of Hindu deities.
Mogul Paintings depicts indo-Islamic style of painting and flourished in the ateliers of Mogul emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan, which describes neatly the court life of Mogul royal society. Tanjore Painting are classical South Indian form of painting which evolved in the village of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu and well known for its richness and compactness of forms and vivid colors. Rajasthani Painting are miniature paintings of the finest quality, which are made both on paper and on large pieces of cloth. Different regions maintain their own style, known as different schools of painting. Some well-known schools of painting are Marwar, Mewar, Hadoti, Kishangarh, Dhundhar and Alwar. Rajasthani painting has clear influence of Mogul paintings though it quite distinct in its own way.
The women of the small town named 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 done on clothes and paper also. The subject involves Hindu gods and goddesses, the natural objects like sun and moon, sacred plant like Tulsi and its specialty remain in use of vegetable colors. Pahari Painting are the miniature paintings evolved in the hilly states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir during the period of Rajput rulers used beautiful scenes of Himalaya as backdrop. There are three distinct schools named Basholi, Guler- Kangra and Sikh.Lepakshi Painting are wall paintings made on the walls of temple of Lepakshi, a small village in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.
Glass Painting is comparatively recent form of painting, which is extremely delightful to the connoisseur’s eyes for its clarity and richness of colors. The glass is engraved and then colored from the reverse side. Patachitra flourished in Orissa and is made on cloth with extremely vivid colors and mythology-based subject. Kalighat pots are another form, which made on earthen pot or cloth. These are mainly used as wall hangings. Marble Painting is also a recent form of painting made on exquisite marble stones. The subject can be traditional or 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 involves waxing and dewaxing and subtle use of color shades. The process is popular in West Bengal, Orissa and Tamilnadu and is used for dress materials, wall hangings, scarfs etc. Kalamkari is the form of art that involves weaving and block printing apart from painting. The border art and rounded forms are its characteristic. This is also used for the purpose of making dress materials and wall hangings. Silk Paintings provides the charm and mystique sense of silk is 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 ethnic art form essentially consists of inscribing letters and artistic designs on palm-leaf, mostly cut into standard sizes and held together with two wooden plank covers stringed through a hole in the center.
Indian Murals Paintings are considered to be the earliest evidence of Indian paintings that are made on walls of caves and palaces while miniatures are small-sized colorful, intricate handmade illumination. The Indian artists adopted Indian Oil paintings as a unique technique of art and Raja Ravi Verma was considered to be the pioneer who made this new medium popular in India through his realistic portraits and paintings. Indian Folk Paintings are pictorial expressions of village painters, which are marked by the subjects chosen from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata and other mythological stories. Silk Paintings and fabric paintings are done on cloth or different types of fabric.
Different types of Indian paintings have introduced in different times of the history. The forms of paintings have become popular from different regions and finally also found its place in the international domain of art.