kind of art is a part of life in Rajasthan. All the
bright and flying colours of art and tradition is a glory
of Rajasthan. The decoration of dwellings and other
household objects was but one aspect of the creative genius
but the world of miniature paintings is perhaps the
most fascinating and the distinctive styles that have existed
here which is recognised the world over. From the 16th century
onwards various schools of paintings like the Mewar school,
the Bundi-Kota kalam, the Jaipur, Bikaner, Kishengarh
and Marwar schools flourished in Rajasthan.
The Rajasthani style of painting is very much a part
of daily leaving. The scenes are derived from the real life
or from the glorious history of Rajasthan. The work
in highly influenced by the surroundings, they display the
hills and valleys, deserts, places and forts, gardens, court
scenes, religious processions and those highlighting scenes
from the life of Lord Krishna were the recurrent themes
of these paintings. The Raagamala paintings and those based
on Geeta Govinda are the golden treasures of Rajasthan.
It is widely believed that the miniature artists of Rajasthan
were practising and perfecting their art as early as the beginning
of the 16th century and were later employed by the Mughal
courts, specially by the Great Mughal emperor Akbar.
school of painting has its own unique features. For
instance, the flowing rivers, dense forests, lush green fields
of Kota-Bundi region were transferred to the paintings
of that regions. In palaces of Kota-Bundi are displayed the
paintings depicting hunting scenes and animal fights. Other
than Nature, human beings became the major subject
of paintings. The figures of women in Rajasthani paintings
are very graceful and life-like, with well-proportioned bodies
and sharp features. CoIours used also display the similarity
with the choice of people from Rajasthan. They are mainly
bright, with red prominently appearing in the background.
The Mughal rule has influenced the style of painting.
Examples of such influenced work can be seen in the paintings
in the palaces of Amer, Bairat and Toda Rai Singh
and much later in Samod, Achrol, Shahpura, Alwar and Tonk.
The Kishengarh school is best known for its Bani
Thani paintings. The originality of style can be credited
to its royal patron -Raja Sawant Singh, better known as Nagari
Das. His love for the singer-poet Bani Thani gave this
tiny state the most refined and delicate paintings. The paintings
belonging to this school have a totally different style with
highly exaggerate features - long necks, large, almond
shaped eyes, long fingers and the use of subdued colours.
paintings showcase a very strong folk tradition and here the
figures are mainly of vigorous warriors and graceful women.
Paintings of the legendary lovers like Dhola-Maru on
camelback, hunting scenes which included innumerable horses
and elephants dominate the paintings of the Marwar
region. Similarly, Bikaner too had strong Mughal influences
and developed a style which was a combination of both the
local as well as borrowed styles.
In a different class but with several similarities are the
cloth paintings of Rajasthan which include the phads
- scroll paintings used by the Bhopas and the Pichwais
- cloth hangings used behind the deity in Vaishnava temples.
They are usually in bright colours with bold outlines, these
paintings have very strong religious traditions.
The colours used in these paintings were extracted from minerals,
vegetables, precious stones, indigo, conch shells, pure gold
and silver. The preparing and mixing of colour was
an elaborate process and it took weeks, sometimes months,
to get the desired results. The manuscripts were drawn
on paper or palm leaf and the paintings were drawn on walls
of palaces and the inner chambers of forts, havelies.
The fragrance of Rajasthani art is still alive not
only in Rajasthan but all the world over.