Painting Trove of Rajasthan



Rajasthani people defy the rough and sultry weather and carve out an abode under the shadow of inimitable arts and crafts. In the field of painting too Rajasthan is a wonderland. Diverse varieties of traditional Rajasthani paintings adorn the art galleries and walls of all corners of globe. Colors, themes, designs and styles of these paintings speak volumes of the traditions and culture of Rajasthan in particular and India in general.

Miniature Paintings of Rajasthan

Various schools of painting flourished in Rajasthan from 16th century onwards. Great names in these schools of paintings are- the Mewar School, Bundi School, Kota School, Bikaner School, Jaipur School, Marwar School and Kishangarh School. Each school has its distinct and unique style.

Vivid representations of hills, valleys, gardens, palaces, court scenes, deserts and religious processions are rendered by these medieval miniature paintings. They have portrayed different themes from Ramayana, Krishna Lila, Choura Panchasika Ragamala series and Gita Govinda. The colors used were extracted from the minerals, vegetables, precious stones, conch shells, pure gold and silver. These colors were prepared after the process of several months.


Many artists from Rajasthan were employed by Mughals for the purpose of making miniature paintings. Expansion of Miniature painting to the regional kingdoms of Rajasthan was predominantly after the Mughals’ downfall. Rajput miniatures flourished under the princely patronage and being reproduced even in the present times, by the successors of the erstwhile craftsmen. The classical element and aura of these paintings incessantly continue even though several innovations have taken place since then.

Those families who are engaged in making miniature paintings have survived in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Nathdwara and Kishangarh and continue to paint fine works of art on hand-made paper.

MuralsBrightly colored murals are visible on the various quarters of Rajasthan. The much followed depictions of these murals are battles, processions and folk deities. They are carried out in typical folk art style. The murals in the palaces of Bikaner, Udaypur and Bundi are classical woks of art and have been rendered in distinct miniature style.The Shekhawati frescoes are renowned on world over and the region is popularly termed as, “Open Air Art Gallery”.

Magic of Phad Paintings These distinct kind of Paintings, depicting the life of Pabuji a local hero, exalted to a place of god are predominantly red and green colored long scrolls carried by the Bhopas. They are unfurled by these itinerant balladeers of Rajasthan , who narrate in song the legend of Pabuji on auspicious occasions to the accompaniment of ‘Ravanhatta’, a folk instrument. Phad paintings are made by the Joshis of Shahpur near Bhilwara and are now available in smaller panels portraying single incidents or characters from the epic.

Pichwai Paintings Pichwais are the cloth paintings of Rajasthan those hung in temples. Pichwais depict lord Krishna as Shrinathji in different moods. They are hung behind the images of him and get changed according to the season. The pichwai paintings are done in dark rich hues on rough hand-spun cloth. They have deep religious roots and are devotionally rendered by the painters. Nowadays pichwai paintings are painted in Udaipur and Nathdwara.

Mandana Mandana is the folk craft of decorating houses. Various designs are made on the floors and walls using red sand and chalk powder. This art form is very popular in the rural areas of Rajasthan. Rectangle, square and floral designs in various dimensions are made, suiting the particular season or festival. Several mandana motifs have started appearing on block-printed textiles also these days.

Mehndi This is a very popular form of art and craft prevalent among women. Also known as henna, mehndi designs on the palms and feet is symbolic of good luck, artistic taste and religious attitude. There is hardly a function or festival in Rajasthan or for that matter India when women do not apply mehndi on their palms to make themselves more beautiful.

Handicrafts Trade
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