How Traditional Indian Art Paintings help to exploring your life?

Self-expression is a natural tendency of human beings. He cannot live without manifesting his inner feelings. And, the basis of emotions is the environment of man. Scholars believe that in the primitive times when language and script-signs did not appear, the person used to express himself only by the hint of lines. The inscriptions found inside the caves today are the first proofs of painting. Human life then was much closer to animals, etc. Other aspects of life were yet to be developed, so the Indian painting of the time is also limited to that extent.

Painting of India

Rajhu S Goraai
  • Things changed with the development of civilization. India was attracted towards religion and spirituality. Here internal expressions were given priority over external beauty. That is why, in the painting of India, the expression of emotion, posture and adoration came out more clearly.
  • Later, Greek art was influenced by the painting of India due to political reasons. Then came the golden age of Indian culture. The best works of painting of this era – Ajanta paintings, idols of Gods and Goddesses, etc., people are surprised to see.
  • The religion of Islam has not only been indifferent to painting, but also taboo. Therefore, the development of Indian painting stagnated during the early period of Muslim rule. But it changed during the time of Akbar. Painting began to flourish again as ornamentation of scriptures. The Persian style also influenced him. After the end of Mughal rule, this painting was confined to the native states. Meanwhile, Rajasthani style, Kangra or Pahari style paintings were made. This is also the time to produce pictures of raga-raganis.
  • The British came to India with realistic material culture. His painting unites the exterior. It also affected the painters of India. The images of Ravi Varma (1848– 1905 AD) are proof of this.
  • At the present time, on the basis of expression and ornamentation, the painting is divided into two broad parts – ‘fine art’ which has predominance of expression and ‘commercial art‘ which is ornamented.

Famous Paintings of India


Caves The construction of these caves lasted for about 1000 years. Most of the caves were built during the Gupta period. The caves of Ajanta belong to the Mahayana branch of Buddhism.



caves The most prominent among the Hindu caves are the eighth century Kailash temple. Apart from this, it also has Jain and Buddhist caves. The caves of Tiger and Elephanta are related to the temporal life of the tiger caves. The pictures of music and dance received from here are very attractive. 

The Portuguese named it Elephanta for being an elephant statue.

Indian painting styles

Jain painting

  • The Jain style occupies a prominent place in the styles affecting the whole of India from 7th to 12th century.
  • The paintings of Jain Tirthankaras – Parshvanath, Neminath, Rishabhnath, Mahavir  Swami, etc. are the most ancient in the Jain painting style.
  • The specimen of Jain painting is also found on the daftas or wooden tracks above the Jain texts, in which sharp expressions and large beautiful images of the eyes are made through limited lines

Pal painting

  • The theme of the Pala style painting, which developed specifically under the rule of the Pala dynasty rulers Dharmapala and Devpal in Bengal from the 9th to the 12th century, has been influenced by Buddhism.
  • Vajrayana Buddhism scenes are depicted initially in palm paper and later on paper.

Apricot painting

  • The apabhramsa style was painted between the 11th and 15th centuries, initially on palm papers and later on paper.
  • The most prominent feature of Apabhramsa style paintings is: – Special facial texture, pointed nose and excessive decoration of jewelry

Mughal painting

  • Mughal painting was completely influenced by Persian painting style during the reign of Mughal emperors Babar and Humayan.
  • A new style developed during the period of Akbar, which was a confluence of Indian and Persian paintings

Patna or company painting

Save Sparrow
  • The Patna or Company painting style, famous for its depiction of common aspects of the general public, developed after the fall of the Mughal Empire when painters made Patna and its adjacent area their area of ​​work.
  • These paintings were also made and sent to Britain, which are still present in the museums there.

Bengal Painting

  • The Bengal style developed during the British Raj in the early 20th century. It was a style inspired by  Indian nationalism, but it was also encouraged by many art-loving British administrators.
  • Rabindranath Tagore‘s nephew Abanindranath Tagore was the earliest painter of this style. He made many beautiful paintings influenced by the Mughal style. Tagore’s most famous work was Bharata-Mata in which India was depicted as a Hindu goddess. After 1920, this style declined with the rise of Indian nationalism

Deccan painting

A Happy Family
  • The main center of Deccan painting style was Bijapur but it was also spread in the states of Golconda and Ahmednagar.
  • The paintings of ‘Ragamala’ have been depicted exclusively in the Deccan painting style.

Gujarati painting

  • he mountain, river, ocean, earth, foreground, cloud, horizon, tree, etc. are specially made in this style of painting known as Gurjar or Gujarat style.
  • Gujarat painting style paintings are received from Marwar, Ahmednagar, Malwa, Jaunpur, Awadh, Punjab, Nepal, Orissa. Which proves that its area of ​​influence was quite wide

Rajput painting

Ratha Yatra
  • In the last days of the Mughal period, several Rajput kingdoms arose in different regions of India.
  • Mewar, Bundi, Malwa etc. are notable in Rajput painting. A distinctive style of painting developed in these states.
  • These various styles appeared to have certain features, common, based on which they were given the name ‘Rajput’ style.
  • This style of painting seems to be quite ancient, but its original form is attained only after the 15th century.
  • It is indeed a style influenced by the courts, in whose development Kannuaj, Bundelkhand and Chandel kings have made a commendable contribution.
  • The Rajput painting style is based on purely Hindu traditions.

Hill painting

  • Influenced by the Rajput style, hill painting developed in different regions located in the foothills of the Himalayas. But the influence of Mughal painting on this is also visible.
  • Five rivers Sutlej, Ravi, Beas, Jhelum, and Chenab area of Punjab, and other hill stations like Jammu, Kangra be seen clearly mark Bawanaon residents of mountainous regions on this painting style evolved, Garhwal, etc. and music and religion-related traditions Can.
  • Typical depictions of love are seen in Pahari style paintings. Through the pictures of Krishna and Radha’s love, an attempt has been made to show them very closely and effortlessly.

Sikh painting

  • The Sikh style developed during the reign of Raja Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore State (1803 to 1839).
  • The Sikh style themes have been selected from mythological epics, while its character is entirely Indian

Some more Paintings Images

Note: Painting by students from locality of Ukhra, West Bengal, India
Museum location: Ukhra Pulin Bihari gosto Bihari Balika Bidya Mandir
Photos clicked by: Rajhu S Goraai & Subham Gorai
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