Beautiful Traditional Paintings of India
The history of painting reaches back in time to artifacts from pre-historic humans, and spans all cultures. The history of painting represents a continuous, though disrupted, tradition from Antiquity. Across cultures, and spanning continents and millennia, the history of painting is an ongoing river of creativity, that continues into the 21st century. Until the early 20th century it relied primarily on representational, Religious and Classical motifs. In India, painting is one of the traditional skills that is passed down from generation to generation in the family. They paint figures from nature and myth on household and village walls to mark the seasonal festivals of the religious year, for special events of the life-cycle, and when marriages are being arranged they prepare intricately designed wedding proposals. The very traditional and famous paintings of India are: Madhubani, Lepakshi, Tanjavore, Mithila paintings, The Famous Rajaravi Varma's paintings, Patachitra, Warli, Batic, Mysore paintings, Kathakali paintings.
Madhubani Paintings : The Mithila region and the villages around Madhubani are situated near the northern edge of the state of Bihar as it approaches the India-Nepal border. They are known as ‘Mithila' or ‘Madhubani' paintings. People of Mithila have their own language and a sense of regional identity that goes back more than 2500 years. Among the most celebrated figures believed to have been born in the region are Mahavira (a great spiritual hero of the Jain religion), Siddhartha Gautama (better known to the world as the Buddha), and Sita (the legendary wife of Prince Rama and herself a central figure in what may be the world's most popular epic, the Ramayana).
Raja Ravi Varma's paintings : "A Prince Among Painters and A Painter Among Princes". Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) was born in Kerala into a Royal family. At the age of seven years he started drawing on the palace walls using charcoal. His uncle Raja Raja Varma noticed the talent of the child and gave preliminary lessons on painting. At the age of 14, Ayilyam Thirunal Maharaja took him to Travancore Palace and he was taught water painting by the palace painter Rama Swamy Naidu. After 3 years Theodor Jenson, a British painter taught him oil painting. Most of his paintings are based on Hindu epic stories and characters. In 1873 he won the First Prize at the Madras Painting Exhibition. He became a world famous Indian painter after winning in 1873 Vienna Exhibition.
THANJAVUR PAINTING : This is a peculiar, ancient, miniature type of painting. This school of paintings originated in Thanjavur [South India] during the reign of the Marathas in the 16th century. It existed from 17th to 19th Century, and had a limited output. Today, this tradition is kept alive by a few hundred dedicated artists mostly based in Tamil Nadu, India. The painting would be made by the gilded and gem-set technique - a technique where gold leaves & sparkling stones are used to highlight certain aspects of the painting like ornaments, dresses etc.
Patachitra : This scroll tradition in the state of Orissa and West Bengal may portray stories from the great Hindu epics, such as the Ramayana, and Sufi traditions which are also sung frame by frame. These scrolls are painted with vegetable dyes fixed with a vegetable gum on paper. The panels are sewn together and fabric from old saris is glued to the back to strengthen the scroll. The painting is done on cloth which the artist prepare themselves by coating it with a mixture of chalk and gum made from tamarind seeds to give the surface a kind of leathery finish on which the artists paint with earth and stone colors.
Lepakshi paintings : The temples in Lepakshi town of Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh are home to some of the most beautiful paintings of Vijayanagar period available today. The Lepakshi Temple-complex (in Hindupur, Andhra Pradesh) built by brothers Viranna and Virupanna in the 16th century, provides a large scope for the study of architecture, painting, iconography and mythological presentation of the Vijayanagar period. It also provides glimpses of contemporary dress like tall headwear (Kulavi), colored and embroidered sarees of both men and women in the paintings.
Mysore paintings : They are regarded as one of the prominent schools of traditional Indian painting. The most popular themes of this school of painting are traditional deities of the Hindu pantheon, including the famous Goddess of Mysore Chamundeswari. Stories from the epics of Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the Bhagavata Purana and Jain epics are also depicted in traditional Mysore paintings.
Warli paintings : An Indian folk art painting has derived its name from a small tribal inhabiting the remote regions of Maharastra. This folk art has traveled across borders and are now the cherished possessions of many a collector and art lover.
Batic paintings : Thisis a wax-resist dyeing technique used on textile. Batik has been both an art and a craft for centuries. In Java, Indonesia, batik is part of an ancient tradition, and some of the finest batik cloth in the world is still made there. Batik is the art of creating images on the cotton cloth using wax resist method. In India, batik paintings are commonly found on wall-hangings, greeting cards, sarees, T-shirts, Bed sheets and cushion covers.
Kathakali paintings : This is a very unique tradition from Kerala, where the face of a Kathakali dancer is painted with various colors. This technique takes 2-3 hours to paint a face according to the character depicts in the play. Mostly, the Kathakali dance characters are selected from the famous epics ‘Ramayan' and ‘Mahabharat'.
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