ART OF RAJASTHAN : Ragamala Miniature Paintings

Rajasthan Style Of Painting. Ragamala Paintings Are Based On Ragas, Musical Melodies Of India's Classical Music.

The artists of medieval India had skilfully used musical details as their subject for paintings. Ragamala paintings are one of these attempts. Under this nomenclature, Ragmala, the medieval painters depicted the ragas (Tunes of Music) and their musical characters in their paintings. This is an unique attempt to depict the art of music in paintings.

Hindola Raga, Ragamala -17th century India. Rajathan Style Gouache on paper.

Ragmala or Ragamala, plainly can be translated as a 'garland of Ragas or Musical Melodies'. There are six principal ragas present in Ragamala : Bhairava, Dipika, Sri, Malkaunsa, Megha and Hindola ; these ragas, musical melodies are meant to be sung during the six seasons of the year - summer, monsoon, autumn, early winter, winter and spring.

There were different schools of paintings in northern and south Indian states in medieval period. Starting in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there were school of paintings like, Pahari School of paintings, Rajasthan or Rajput School, Deccan School, and Mughal Ragamala.

Gunakali ragini, Ragamala, Bundi, Rajasthan, ca 1660 (Images Courtesy By Anonymous (V&A Museum [1]) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons)

On the basis of their respective schools of paintings, the ragamala painters named their paintings accordingly; as Pahari Ragamala, Rajasthan or Rajput Ragamala, Deccan Ragamala, and Mughal Ragamala.
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