• Rajasthani miniature art
Rajasthan is one of the pioneer seats of miniature painting in India. Rajput painting, also known as Rajasthani painting, is a style of Indian painting evolved and flourished in the royal courts of Rajputana, India. Each Rajput kingdom evolved a distinct style but with certain common features. Rajput paintings depict a number of themes, events of epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Krishna’s life, beautiful landscapes and humans.
Miniatures in manuscripts or single sheets to be kept in albums were the preferred medium of Rajput painting but many paintings were done on the walls of palaces, inner chambers of the forts, havelis, particularly the havelis of Shekhawati, the forts and palaces built by Shekhawat Rajputs. The colours were extracted from certain minerals, plant sources and conch shells and were even derived by processing precious stones. Gold and silver were also used. The preparation of desired colours was a lengthy process, sometimes taking weeks. The brushes used were very fine.
‘Pattachitra’ is a general term for traditional, cloth based scroll painting based in the eastern Indian state of Odisha. In the Sanskrit language, ‘patta’ literally means ‘cloth’ and ‘chitra’ means ‘ picture’. The pattachitra style of painting is one of the oldest and most popular art forms of Odisha.
All colours used in the paintings are natural and the paintings are made fully in the old traditional way by chitrakaras who are Oriya painters. Pattachitra is manifested by a rich colourful application, creative motifs and designs and portrayal of simple themes mostly mythological in depiction. The traditions of pattachitra paintings are more than a 1000 years old. Pattachitra paintings resemble the old murals of Odisha, especially those from the religious centres of Puri, Konark and Bhubaneswar regions, dating back to the 5th century BC. The best works are found in and around Puri, especially in the village of Raghurajpur. The theme of Oriya painting centers round the Jagannath cult and the Vaishnava cult. Since the beginning of pattachitra culture, Lord Jagannath, who is an incarnation of Lord Krishna, has been the major source of inspiration. In the 16th century, with the emergence of the Bhakti movement, the paintings of Radha and Krishna were painted in vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow. There are typical scenes and figures like Krishna, Gopi’s, elephants, trees and other creatures portrayed in these paintings. Krishna is always painted in blue and Gopis in light pink, purple or brown.
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