When we come to a later
period, we find a definite established tradition of paintings on various
objects, particularly floors, walls and on intimate objects of everyday use,
and in most instances the act being associated with some ritual. The origin
of painting is traces to a moving legend
recorded in the Chitralakshana- the earliest Indian treatise on paintings.
When the son of a king’s high priest died, Lord Brahma (the Creator) asked
the king to paint a likeness of the boy so that he can breathe life into him
again. This is how the first painting was made.
|The Chola rulers in the
south, made extensive use of kolam, floor designs. These decorations done
only women are amongst the most expressive of folk-arts.
They are known by
different names in different parts of the country, alpana in Bengal and
Assam, aripana in Bihar, mandana in Rajasthan, rangoli in Gujarat and
Maharashtra, chowkpurana in Uttar Pradesh (except the Kumaon region) and
kolam in the South.
The Rajasthani mandana is
equally rich. Floor paintings in Andhra are known as muggulu and Himachal
Pradesh ahs its own distinctive floor paintings with geometrical patterns.
The paintings on walls have
deeper themes, also narratives in a series of panels. Apart from their
decorative purpose, they also constitute a form of visual education like
picture books from which one learns of one’s heritage.
Wall paintings in Punjab,
and Rajasthan are usually made at festivals and special occasions like
Folk paintings in Rajasthan
attained a high standard and artists won great fame in this art. The themes
are from epics and heroic Rajput tales. In the Kumaon, the usual wall
pictures are known as bar-boons (dash and dot). The pattern is done by first
putting down a number of dots to make the outline of the design, then
joining them together by lines in different colours. This calls for intense
concentration and immense patience, for an error in a single dot or dash can
upset the entire composition. Each pattern is known by the number of dots
used. One is known as masti-bar-mat design, a composition of ten dots and
the colours used are yellow, violet and green. There are all-over designs of
roses and jasmines covering the entire wall.
Phad paintings are
predominantly yellow, red and green coloured long scrolls carried by the
‘Bhpoas’ itinerant balladers of Rajasthan, who narrated in song the
legend of Pabuji- a local hero- on auspicious occasions to the accompaniment
of the folk instrument ‘Ravanhatta’ made by the Joshis of
Shahpur, near Bhilwara. Phads are now also available in smaller panels portraying single
incidents or characters from the epic.
Of all the art forms in the
Mughal period, miniature paintings are painstakingly painted creations that
depict the events and lifestyle of the Mughals in their magnificent palaces.
Other paintings include portraits or studies of wildlife and plants. This
art is still alive and popular in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
The wall paintings of
Madhubani are joyous expressions of the women of
. The lively compositions and the vibrant colours used to paint them are
generally drawn from Indian mythology.
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