UPSC Prelims 2020 Important Topics: Indian Painting: Art and Culture is static topic in Prelims and requires lots of mugging up. But the material available related to it is very vast and eats up lots of crucial time of an aspirant. Hence, GRASP IAS has come up with the quick revision notes on Art and Culture.
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The origin of Indian painting goes back to 8000 years and an account of its development is inextricably meshed with the development of Indian civilization.
Prehistoric painting: Theme of painting were Hunting theme (group Hunting scenes); Figures of animals & birds; Battle Scenes; Dancing Scenes. Example; Bhibetka Caves (MP).
Mural paintings: Indian Mural Paintings are paintings made on walls of caves and palaces. The caves of Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta also on the Bagh caves and Sittannavasala are examples of it.
Miniature Paintings: Miniature paintings are executed on books and albums, and on perishable material such as paper and cloth. The Palas of Bengal were the pioneers of miniature painting in India. The art reached its zenith during the Mughal period and was pursued by the painters of different Rajasthani Schools of painting, like Bundi, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Marwar and Mewar. The Ragamala paintings also belong to this school, as do the Company paintings produced during the British Raj.
They are representations of Buddhist yantras, graphic symbols which were visual aids to the mantras and the dharamis (types of ritual speech).The Buddhist monasteries (mahaviharas) of Nalanda, Odantapuri, Vikramsila and Somarupa were great centres of Buddhist learning and art.
It is synthesis of the indigenous Indian style of painting and the Safavid school of Persian painting.The subjects depicted were scenes of warfare, hunting and trials of strength.
The themes of the paintings were mostly religious and love subjects, based on Lord Rama and Lord Krishna. Court scenes were depicted as also royal portraits.The Rajput painting developed individual styles in Bundi, Kota, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kishangarh.
The Pahari School was lively and romantic, technically superior with soft tonal shading, exquisitely created backgrounds that merged with the theme, and attitudes and postures highly evocative of the moods they were to convey.The important centres of the Pahari School were at Basholi, Jammu, Guler and Kangra.
Deccani painting developed at Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, Golkonda and Hyderabad, the former states that formed the region known as Deccan.Tanjore paintings are of popular Hindu deities and scenes from Hindu epics. The painting are done on cloth stretched over wood, style is decorative and is marked by the use of bright colours and ornamental details.
Company school of painting
European artists brought with them the technique of oil painting.One popular imperial tradition was that of picturesque landscape painting.Another tradition of art that became immensely popular in colonial India was portrait painting.There was a third category of imperial art, called “history painting”.
Folk paintings: The rural folk paintings of India bear distinctive colorful designs, which are treated with religious and mystical motifs. These are: