Rajasthan is the land of divinity where pilgrims come to seek the blessings of Hindu deity. It is the land of Rajputs, Mughals, and Marathas, where the Maharajas ornamented the city with massive forts. Rajasthan is also the land of a vivid culture where artisans worship art in various forms of sculptures, paintings, and handicrafts.
With ‘Padharo Mhare Des’ as its slogan, Rajasthan has welcomed people across India for a great escapade to the state enriched with centuries of mesmerizing culture. The vibrancy of the glorious heritage speaks for itself in the form of art relics. Every day feels like a festival here!
Art never goes out of style in Rajasthan. The ancient styles of paintings exploding with colors take the centre stage here. With many skilled artisans in Mewar, Marwar, Kishangarh & Bundi in Rajasthan, the patronage for rich art forms has been surging since the 15th century. One splendid artefact that Rajasthan is famous for is Miniature paintings. These pieces bespeak the elegance and perfection of creative customs.
HISTORY OF RAJASTHANI MINIATURE PAINTINGS
Before delving into the exquisite art of miniature paintings, let’s have a glance at the origin of it. The mighty Mughal Empire ruled India for a century and beyond. Showering their love for aesthetics, music, and art, the rulers led a lush lifestyle in their darbars embellished with gems who were renowned musician and artists. The great ruler Humayun admired the Persian dexterity in paintings and brought some of the famous skilled painters to India. Being the masters of refined miniature painting, these foreigners settled in the cities of Rajasthan and established schools of art. Soon adopted by Rajasthani painters, the paintings gained adoration in the medieval era.
Influenced by the areas, the illustrations varied but every variation was a treasure. One of the finest miniature paintings were Bani Thani paintings of the Kishangarh province. The representation got its name when love blossomed between the king in power Raja Sawant Singh of Rajputana and a slave girl of his court named Bani Thani. The ruler ordered his noblemen and artists to paint them as the illustration of Radha Krishna. With finesse in the depiction, the Bani Thani art revolved around the sacred theme of Radha Krishna, Hindu deities, court scenes, Nauka vihar(boating), the Hindu epic Ramayana, Bhagavad Geeta and other Puranas.
COLORS EXTRACTED FROM NATURE
What are the secret ingredients used by Rajasthani artists to achieve such high delicacy in their art? Since the evolvement of miniature representation, techniques are passed down as a legacy from age to age. With bright hues of colors, bold stroking lines, deep emotions and sharp features, the paintings have a distinctive essence. To achieve a fine and even tone while painting, the brushes have been made from the hair of squirrel. The most essential part of miniatures is the color that is made from the pigments extracted from nature and blended with cautiousness to get the desired shade. Vegetables, minerals and precious gems have been a source of natural colors. The paintings adorned walls, ivory, rocks, fabric and leaves. The pure ingredients made the process tedious and it took weeks to months for the preparation.
With the passage of time, the technique of miniatures has been modernized but the intrinsic nature of the paintings is the same. Manufactured artificial
It is captivating to see precise handwork embracing the tiny canvas. Every piece is a reflection of an artist’s soulful love for his creation. Though you can find the miniature art worldwide, the most striking ones can be found decorating the colorful bazaar streets of Rajasthan.
Don’t forget to take a look at the detailing of these dainty art paintings assimilating varied culture next time you visit this imperial land!