“Art is a manifestation of emotion, and emotion speaks a language that all may understand”. William Somerset Maugham
The glory of the art world is hidden inside the essence that the paintings possess along with the journey of time they had traveled. With each style of painting, comes a great backstory and a greater series of events that lead to the rise of the art form. It is just spectacular to witness the traditional paintings surviving the test of time and still standing tall representing how strongly art sticks to the value embedded and the inheritance attached to it. Being born in India and being an art lover is a deadly combination. India, being a land of multiple religions, beliefs, cultures, and dialects, is like a vast canvas depicting numerous colours and various patterns. An artist picks a brush to pour his/her thoughts and emotions on the canvas. The theme may be any, the techniques can be varied, but the grace of an artwork aligns straight with the fact that art is immortal. Yes, it is. Seeing the rise and the sustainability of the Indian art forms, no one can deny that art is meant to go through all the phases and dynasties and still maintain a strong foothold in the market. This blog is solely directed to discuss some of the exquisite Indian art forms that have been spreading their grace for centuries and are still quite prominent. Let’s start:
Sourced from the villages of Madhubani and Mithila in Bihar, this exquisite style of Indian art includes easily available raw materials such as bamboo sticks wrapped with cotton to form a brush. The colours utilized in the Madhubani paintings are generated from vegetables, cow dung, spices, leaves etc. These paintings are known for their double lined outlines and the cross or straight lines filling these gap. You would not find any form of shading in these paintings. The most noticeable attribute of Madhubani paintings are the geometric patterns and vivacious utilization of colours. Madhubani paintings were typically made by the rural women who brushed down their thoughts and feelings on the floors and doors of their mud houses. These women believed that the Almighty will visit their house and bless them with prosperity. Today, people of the two villages (as mentioned) craft some mesmerizing Madhubani paintings to earn their bread and butter.
When Mughals ruled India, one specific form of Indian paintings saw its uprising; the Kalamkari art. Believed to begin from Masulipatnam near Hyderabad and Srikalahasti near Chennai, you can find a hint of Mughal art in these paintings. Specifically, the Masulipatnam style was highly impacted by the Persian art style. The majority of the Masulipatnam paintings had themes on trees, flowers, and leaves. Srikalahasti, on the other hand, revolves around the depiction of events from religious epics such as Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. Artists have been utilizing the bamboo sticks as ‘pens’ on fabrics to make printed blocks using natural vegetable dyes. Note that the process of designing a complete Kalamkari painting is quite long and stagnant. Cow dung, seeds, plants and crushed flowers are also utilized to bring different effects in these paintings. The government of India established a Kalamkari training center so as to prevent the art form from vanishing altogether. Today, you can find numerous artists, entrepreneurs, and NGOs that are showing an elevating interest in the art form. Artists of our generations are even utilizing the technique used for making Kalamkari paintings to represent Buddha and Buddhist art styles.
This Rajasthan-originated painting form is a spectacular Indian folk art with a rarity in its techniques and designs. As soon as you witness this Indian paintings form you wouldn’t help but notice the bold colours that make the dead spaces look jubilant and alive. These form of Indian artworks were and are made on the historical events. Artists brush up these artworks to reflect the heroics and greats of prominent personalities such as Prithviraj Chauhan, Goga Chauhan, Amar Singh Rathore, Papuji etc.
These marvelous Indian paintings were first carved in the state of Orissa. Perhaps, this is the few of the art forms that first started as a devotional practice for worshipping Lord Jagannath. This form of art is believed to have come across many centuries. This diverse art form is known to incorporate techniques such as wall paintings, palm-leaf etching, manuscript painting and painting on cloth, both cotton and silk etc. During its early days, only artists of Orissa, maharanas etc were able to paint Patachitra paintings. Artists used to take a patta (a leaf) or a fabric and craft some extravagant patterns. These paintings were mainly utilized to adore the interior of the religious sanctums and halls. The subject matter mostly revolved mostly around the religious, mythological, and folklore topics.