Indian Art & Culture - Paintings October 15, 2017 PAINTINGS 1. THANGKA PAINTING The thangka is a traditional Tibetan form of religious art originating in India whose subject or subjects may include Buddha, bodhisattvas, meditational deities, great teachers, and mandalas. Most thangkas are scroll paintings usually framed in colorful silk brocade and have a thin silk veil covering the front surface. They are distinctively Tibetan, highly religious, and possess a unique art style of their own. Although always religious in nature, Tibetan thangkas cover a wide range of subject matters. Most of them are painted on cloth or paper. The white cloth is first mounted on a frame, and water-based colloid chalk is applied to the surface. Surface is polished with talc when dried. Apart from this, there are thangkas, which are webs of embroidery, woven silk, silk tapestry, or appliqué. Embroidered thangkas are done with multi-colored silk threads. 2. KANGRA PAINTING Kangra paintings belong to the school of Pahari paintings that were patronized by the Rajput rulers between the 17th and 19th centuries. Became widely popular with the advent of Jayadev's Gita Govinda, of which many extant manuscripts feature exquisite Kangra illustrations. They portrayed incidents and scenes from the life of lord Krishna and other Bhakti themes. ? Apart from female beauty, landscapes, countryside, rivers, trees, birds, cattle, flowers etc. are meticulously portrayed in these paintings. The Kangra painters used colors made of vegetable and mineral extracts. They employed cool and fresh colors. 3. KALAMKARI ART The word is derived from the Persian words kalam (pen) and kari (craftmanship), meaning drawing with a pen. Pedana town in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh is known for its Kalamkari. These paintings are made on cloth. It is hand painted as well as blocks printing with vegetable dyes applied on cloth. The art of painting using organic dyes on cloth was popular in several parts of India, but this style of Kalamkari flourished at Kalahasti and at Masulipatnam. This art is mainly related to decorating temple interiors with painted cloth panels, which was developed in the fifteenth century under the patronage of Vijaynagar rulers. They are very durable and flexible in size and made according to theme. Subjects are adopted from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and Hindu religious mythology. Two distinctive styles There are two distinctive styles of Kalamkari design - Srikalahasti style and Masulipatnam style of art. The Masulipatnam style is influenced by Persian art. The motifs like trees, flowers and leaf designs are printed using blocks. The Srikalahasti style flourished around temples with Hindu patronage thus has an almost religious identity, wherein the kalam is used for freehand drawing of the subject, and filling in the colours is done by hand. 4. MITHILA PAINTING Also known as Madhubani painting, it is characterized by line drawing filled in with bright colours. Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens and matchsticks. Geometrical patterns are a characteristic feature. The painting is done with mineral pigments. Originally this painting was done on freshly plastered or mud wall. For commercial purposes, it is now done on paper, cloth and canvas. 5. BUNDI SCHOOL OF PAINTING Bundi School of Painting is a Rajasthani style of Indian miniature painting that lasted from 17 the century towards the end of 19th century. It existed in the princely state of Bundi and neighbouring principality of Kotah. The Bundi School is characterized by a fondness for lush green vegetation, dramatic night skies and a distinctive way of depicting water with light swirls. It has a close association with the Mughal style. The Bundi Paintings emphasized on hunting, court scenes, procession, life of nobles, lovers, animals, birds and scenes from Lord Krishna’s life. 6. NATHDWARA PAINTING Nathdwara Paintings refer to a school of artists that originated in Nathdwara in Rajasthan. The Nathdwara School of Painting is a subset of Mewar School and is seen as an important school in 17th and 18th century. These paintings have different sub-styles, of which the Pichwai Paintings are the most popular. Pichwai Paintings are cloth paintings hung behind the image of Hindu God, Shrinathji. Pichwai paintings illustrate different moods of Lord Krishna. 7. ROCK PAINTINGS DISCOVERED IN KONDANE CAVES 40 rock paintings were recently discovered in the Kondane caves in Raigad district in western region of Maharashtra. The images were found in both natural caverns and man-made caves. An unfinished Buddhist chaitya and a vihara were found in two man-made caves in the group. A chaitya is Buddhist prayer hall with a stupa at one end. A vihara is a monastery. The Buddhist rock-cut architecture found in these caves belongs to the Hinayana phase of Buddhism. A striking image found was that of a mythical figure, perhaps a demon. Other paintings reflected everyday life and occupations such as hunting deer. The style and articulation of these paintings suggest that they have been drawn during the late historical period of second century B.C. onwards.