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INDIAN PAINTINGS : A RICH HERITAGE

India is one of the oldest civilizations. Here the human race was residing before 100,000 years; the cave shelters in Bhimpetka situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh of India put before us the evidences of such a civilization. The traces of human habitation and the depiction of their artistic desire are depicted in these caves. On the walls of these caves we can see the paintings of men, animals and the tools they use.

A Man being Hunted by Beast, Bhimpetka Cave Paintings, India

The researchers, after using their modern microscopes and experienced minds, have found out that some of the shelters were inhabited by humans. the time would be, perhaps, around and before 100,000 years. The evidences they arrived upon such conclusions are the rock carvings and rock paintings in these caves, supposed to be done by the eary settlers. The colours used in these paintings seems to be made from stones. The tools they used would be like stones and brushes made from the material locally available. Some of the paintings are believed to be done before 30,000 years. Bhimpetaka is 40 km from the regional capital city Bhopal. It is easily approachable by motorway from Bhopal. The rich heritage of India is declared as archeological world heritage. Many of the caves have suffered damage by natural causes and human neglect. Still there are 700 caves and half of them having paintings on the wall. [Image courtesy By Raveesh Vyas [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia]

The India is rich in artistic heritage. The most attractive are the cave paintings at Ajanta caves.

Ajanta Cave Painting

India is a country full of diversity in culture and the mix of the people and religions. India having the huge history of art and dynamic culture is famous for being the home country of exceptionally brilliant artists.

CAVE PAINTINGS: The ancient wall paintings at the caves of Ajanta and Ellora establish that The art like Cave Paintings is the ancient one; and even before more than two thousand years, the artists living in this country were able craftsmen. Their work depicts their painterly dexterity. Ajanta Caves paintings are representatives of the ancient time when the art of paintings was practiced by ruler-sponsored artists and Buddha Monks. The caves of Ajanta and Ellora, situated in the central part of India that is known as Maharashtra, contain paintings done on their walls. Most of the paintings these caves are mainly “Buddhist Religious Art”.

The time period of these masterly pieces is believed to be 2nd century BCE. These paintings depict subtlety and sophistication the artists have mastered displaying before centuries. The paintings of this style of art are also seen in fragments of murals in many parts of south India. (Images Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Ajanta Caves, containing paintings on their walls, are situated in state of Maharastra in India. The paintings on the walls of the caves are mainly “Buddhist Religious Art” The time period of these masterly pieces is believed to be the second century BCE. The sophisticated style of art that is seen in the paintings of Ajanta is also found in surviving wall paintings and in fragments of murals in many parts of south India.

Indian Cave Paintings, 7th Century

The subject matter of most of the paintings at Ajanta is the life and teachings of Buddha. This covers various lives and incarnations of Buddha as told in Jatak tales. Most of the paintings and the art work is believed to be by the Buddhist monks or the disciples of Buddha. (Image Courtesy By Indischer Maler des 7. Jahrhunderts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons)

Depiction of Religious Tales

The tales depicted in these paintings are called Jatak Tales connected with Buddhism. Jatak tales are educational by their characteristics and were meant to educate the devotees about the Buddha's teachings and life through successive births. The Ajanta Paintings are the narrating the tales. The jataka tales are religious stories. These stories tell us about he previous births and incarnations of Buddha. These stories are in the forms of poems mainly. There are commentaries, too, given to make the poems more intelligible. But there are certain passages of prose and poems which are still nit deciphered. The paintings done on the walls of Ajanta Caves depict some of these Jatak tales.

One of the best specimens of the cave paintings that can be found in Ajanta is of Bodhisatva. There are 29 such caves preserved properly.
Padmapani, Ajanta Caves, India

Some paintings are of Abhishek or ritual bath of the king before he sets out on his ascetic life. The clear understanding of perspective is seen in the receding pillars. The roundedness of pillars is also brought out by shading. (Image courtesy By Abdulsayed (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html">GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons)

Miniature Paintings :

One of the best times for the art of paintings in India is the Mughal era, the time of sixteenth and seventeenth century, the time of Mughal Miniature Paintings. It was the time when Mughal Kings ruled over most parts of India; and the Rajput kings that ruled the Rajputana, comprising the most part of the then greater India. The desire for artistic pursuits and due to their likings for the art of painting, these kings became supporter and sponsors for developing the art. The artists in this period mainly practiced miniature style of paintings, they style which was imported from Persia. The Rajasthan and Jaipur School of Paintings, too, was prominent style of painting during this period.

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