Notes on the Development of Painting in India

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The richest heritage in painting is of Ajanta Paintings. The paintings of Ajaixta depict the point and splendour of the royal courts and the romance of love and the joy of feasting, singing and dancing. Some paintings depict. The world of nature vegetation and flowers, animals and birds. Some of the themes are depicted from the Buddha’s life and the Jataka Stories. The intense human appeal gives the massage of the unity of life depicted through the panorama of all forms of life. It can accomplish with equal skill the calm and serene Buddha and the restless, eager crowds, in a dance or a market place.

In northern India, the frescoes at Bagh are the best survivals. However, the tradition of painting continued for sometime in the other parts of India, e.g., at Badami, Kanchi and Ellora, It later spread to Sri Lanka,

The Mughals brought with them the traditions of Persian paintings. Akbar gathered together a number of painters from Persia, Kashmir and Gujarat. The famous artists of this period were-Abdus Samad, Mir Saiyid Ali, Miskin, Daswant, Basawan, Mukand and others. They illustrated manuscripts like the Dastan-i-Amir Hamza and Babar Nama. By the end of Akfear’s reign, an independent Mughal style of painting had been developed.

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Jahangir himself was patron of painting. In this period portrait painting and depiction of subjects drawn from life and nature became popular. The famous painters of this period were – Nadir, Murad, Bishan Das, Manohar, Govardhan, Mansur and Farukh Beg. The development of painting continued under Shah Jahan and Dara Shikoh. Mughal painting declined in the period of Aurangzeb.

The two most important schools of painting emerged were the Rajasthani and the Pahari schools. The subjects of these schools were drawn from the epics, myths, legends and Love themes.

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