The walls of the Ajanta caves are decorated with Ajanta paintings, depicting the pomp and splendour of the royal courts, the romance of love, singing and dancing. Some of them depict the world of nature—vegetation and flowers, animals and birds. Many themes depicted are from the Buddha's life and Jataka stories. The scenes are full of vitality. Figures are drawn with admirable skill. The intense human appeal gives the message of unity of life depicted through the panorama of all forms of life.
The paintings give a fuller picture of real life. The medium used to draw is line. What was achieved in the West with could was achieved in India with line. This style in ancient time spread to central Asia and is evident in wall paintings and in paintings on wooden panels. The tradition of painting continued for sometime in other parts of India like Badami, Kanchi and Ellora. Later, it spread to Sri Lanka. Gradually, the art of wall painting faded, though the art of book illumination continued, particularly in Jain texts.
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