Home > Indian Art > Miniature paintings of India

Miniature paintings of India

March 29th, 2009

These small Indian Miniature paintings have enchanted art lovers for centuries. Their dazzling colours – rich blues, shell powder whites, vermilions and tropical greens, often accented with gold and silver leaves, beguile the eye. The minute exactness with which they were painted, sometimes with strokes so fine that a brush of a single squirrel’s hair was used, never ceases to invoke our wonder and imagination.

One characteristic of the Indian miniature is the outline within which every figure is enclosed. This can be either thick or thin, depending on the area and the period from which the painting originates and on the degree of prominence the artist desired to give the figure. Many of the miniatures, certainly of the Mughal school, were true mirrors of life in those times. They also give some knowledge about the dress and architecture of that period.

Various themes of miniatures are ‘The Ragmala’, ‘Nayik Nayika’, ‘The Seasons’, Gods, Goddesses, Animals of mythology, Folk themes, etc. There were various schools such as the Pala, Jain, Malwa, Mughal, Rajput, Pahari and Deccan. Each of which have a specific style and a specific theme of miniature paintings.

Traditional Painting in India

There are two distinct strands of painting in India. One is rooted in religious traditions and nurtured by the patronage of the rich and royal, and done mostly by men. The other is rooted in everyday life and folk tradition, and done mostly by women.

To the former belong the Buddhist frescoes on the walls of the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, the miniature paintings of the Mughal court, and the different school of Rajasthani painting. The style of Ajanta paintings is truly indigenous and was revived in the early 20th century by Nandalal Bose in Santiniketan, West Bengal.

Although Persian-inspired, Mughal and Rajasthani miniatures too are part and parcel of Indian painting of the former genre. Of the latter genre, the most famous are the Madhubani and Mithila paintings of Bihar, the Warli paintings of Maharashtra, the Mandana paintings of Rajasthan, which are basically wall and floor paintings.

Painting done not for art’s sake but as a daily religious ritual include geometric and floral patterns on the floor by the womenfolk called kolam in the south of India, rangoli in Maharashtra, alpona in Bengal, aripana in Bihar and so on. Painting on cloth is exemplified by Kalamkari work of Kalahasti and Masulipatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and phad painting of Rajasthan. Quite unique is Tanjavur paintings embellished with gold leaf and semi-precious stones, which were originally commissioned by Maratha kings of the 18th century.

The History of Miniature Paintings in India

The intense urge for artistic expression in the Western Himalayas from the 17th century onwards produced miniatures as well as wall paintings. However, while miniatures were produced here from the second half of the 17th century onwards, known wall paintings cannot be dated earlier than the last quarter of the 18th century. But it is quite possible that, as in some other parts of India, a painting tradition may have existed in the Western Himalayas earlier than the datable remains. The fact that the artists were well acquainted with the technique of preparing plaster for wall paintings seems to lend support to this view. Unfortunately, not a single painting before this period exists. It is difficult to say, at this stage, whether the miniature or the mural style of painting was older in the Himalayas. What can, however, be surmised is that both these styles deeply influenced each other.

The different schools of Indian miniatures – like the Pala, Orissa, Jain, Mughal, Rajasthani and Nepali — did not spring up like mushrooms after isolated showers. They were the products of hothouse cultivation practiced over generations. Their varied locations can be explained by the shifts of political power changing the source of patronage. The 11th century Pala miniatures were the earliest to arrive. Their most important contribution was the symbolic use of colour. According to some critics, their use of red for backgrounds has come to be associated in subsequent tradition with sensual and passionate longing.

In Pala painting, colour symbolism was taken from tantric ritual, whereas in Pahadi and Rajasthani paintings the use of bright backgrounds was purely for pictorial effect. The Pahadi artists were not influenced by religious symbolism in the choice of colours. The effective use of a deft and sinuous line, modeling forms by delicate and expressive variation of pressure and to a lesser extent by depth and lightness of tone —the other hallmarks of Pala painting — also left their impression. It is also possible that the natural colour used for painting skins of human figures in our wall paintings and miniatures harks back to Pala times.

There is practically no evidence to indicate that Orissa paintings had any effect on Pahadi artists. Western Indian Jain miniatures have, however, left an indelible mark on subsequent Indian paintings. Jain religious themes and motives did not inspire copying but their influence was on style. The Jain use of strong pure colors, the stylish figures of ladies, the heavy gold outlines, the reduction of dress to angular segments, the enlarged eyes and square shaped hands are reflected both in Rajasthani and Pahadi paintings. They also cast their spell over Mughal and Deccani painting.

The sixteenth century was creatively speaking fruitful for Indian painting. The art of miniature painting came into great prominence both under the Mughals and the Muslim kings of the Deccan and Malwa and under the Hindu Rajas of Rajasthan.

The Mughals were instrumental in introducing elements of Persian tradition in contemporary painting as well as subsequent styles of Indian painting. The credit for introducing Western elements in drawing and painting in the Indian style also goes to the Muslim kingdoms.

Deccani miniatures and wall paintings, on the other hand, do not seem to have influenced Pahadi paintings. The only thing linking both schools appears to be the use of sprays of pink flowers common in Deccani miniatures and in Chamba miniatures and wall paintings.

Exhaustive database of abstracts of articles published on Indian miniature art in MARG Magazine dated from 1946 till today. [ www.Marg-Art.org ]

Welch , Stuart C. , Ettinghausen , Richard , Mittal , Jagdish
Portfolio [Deccani Miniature Paintings]
Vol. 16 Issue no. 2; March 1963, p. 7-22 + 2 unnumbered leaves between p. 22-23
The text and photographs trace the stylistic development of the Bidar, Bijapur, and Golconda schools of Deccani paintings.
Titley , Norah , Marg
Miniature Paintings Illustrating the Works of Amir Khusrau: 15th, 16th, 17th Centuries
Vol. 28 Issue no. 3; June 1975, p. 19-52
The miniatures illustrate various works of Amir Khusrau: Hasht Bihisht, Khamsa, Qiran Al-Sa’dain and Intikhab-i-Divan, Duvalrani Khizr Khan, Majnun-u-Laila, and Kulliyat (collected works of Amir Khusrau).
Agrawal , O.P.
Preservation of Miniature Paintings
Vol. 44 Issue no. 1; September 1992, p. 77-80
Miniature paintings which are normally done on paper, are probably the most delicate of all art objects, liable to be damaged easily. This note discusses the many preservation techniques of paper miniature paintings. This includes humidity control, proper light levels, and protection from fungi and insects.
Goetz , Hermann
Decline & Rebirth of Medieval Indian Art: Western Indian Painting
Vol. 4 Issue no. 2, p. 36-48
This is a review article of Moti Chandra’s book “Jain Miniature Paintings from Western India”. It outlines the development of Jaina painting: its early (pre-Mughal) phase which follows sculpture-styles on Chalukya (Solanki) temple in Gujarat and southern Rajputana; end of the comparatively free and vivid phase of Gujarati Jaina art in the last quarter of the 13th century with the decline of the Vaghelas; revival in the middle of the 15th century along with pre Muslim art in Rajputana; and transition from Jaina to Rajput painting in the 16th century. The parallelism between Jaina paintings and the murals of Pagan in Burma is interpreted as the result of a similar art-cum-sociological situation, and not indicative of a relation between them (as Moti Chandra writes). In contrast to contemporary sculptures, Jaina pictures are angular, crude, and flat. Three explanations are considered: a puritan prejudice against painting among the Jaina community; the preserved manuscripts and book covers are works of only a modest middle-class art; 17th-century Lama Taranatha’s definition, which makes it clear that the Western Indian School was less accomplished than Eastern art. However, it is postulated that sculpture developed earlier than painting in the civilization of the time, and evolution of painting was further retarded by Muslim invasions, and had to restart in the 16th century. Most of the Western Indian School paintings known to us were executed for the Jaina community. The miniature styles of Persia in the Mongol period, and later (between 1440-75) the Muslim art of Gujarat, Malwa, and Uttar Pradesh were influences. The transitional Jaina Rajput style of the late 16th century can be accepted as evidence not the for evolution of Rajput painting but for the intrusion ofRajput pictorial style is traced back to at least the last quarter of the 16th century.
Gangoly , O.C.
The Problem of Molaram
Vol. 4 Issue no. 4, p. 34-39
The contribution of Molaram to the last phase of the Garhwal branch of the Pahari school is appraised on the basis of his autobiographical poem and miniature paintings obtained from his great-grandson Balak Ram. There is a wide divergence and discrepancy in treatment between the works carrying Molaram’s signature and those attributed to him but without his name. The former show a general lack of refinement and grace characterizing the decadence of the Pahari style then at the extreme end of its brilliant span, whereas the latter are superior, examples being “Shiva and Parvati”, “Varsa-Vihara” and “Kaliya Damana”. It is suggested that Molaram possessed working drawings from recognized masterpieces for duplication. The original “Varsa-Vihara” in Boston is compared with its copy, and it is concluded that ascription of the former to Molaram is doubtful.
Goetz , Hermann
Rajput Sculpture and Painting under Raja Umed Singh of Chamba
Vol. 7 Issue no. 4; September 1954, p. 23-34
The palaces and temples of Umed Singh shed light on the sculptural and pictorial style of his reign (1748-64). The Rang Mahal and Jajnagar palace reveal Mughal architecture embellished with decorative paintings. The Khanchandi palace contains murals in the Mughal taste, some later renewed in Kangra and Sikh styles. The Brahmor Kothi (probably erected around 1762) has reliefs on a door and beneath balconies representing, inter alia, Rajput nobles, a raja, and an Afghan prince. The Chamunda temple of Devi-ri-Kothi displays a makara head, a frieze of the Navagraha, bas-reliefs, Mughal cusped arches, carvings, and wall paintings. Stylistically, the reliefs and murals represent a transition between the older Basohli-Rajput tradition and Mughal influence. The miniature paintings include a portrait of Umed Singh, sets of the Bhagavata Purana and the Ramayana. With Umed Singh’s death, Chamba art merged into the broader stream of “Kangra” art.
Mittal , Jagdish
Chamba
Vol. 17 Issue no. 3; June 1964, p. 23-27
Chamba was restored in 1641 by Raja Prithvi Singh, and further initiative was taken by Raja Umed Singh (1778-84) and his successors. Most of the surviving murals in the Rang Mahal were executed during the reign of Charat Singh (1808-44). The themes are mostly derived from Hindu mythology, and the colour scheme is the same as in contemporary miniature paintings of Chamba and Guler. The painters were Durga, Mian Tara Singh, and other local and Basohli painters. Other murals in Chamba, mostly done around 1870, are in the Akhand-Chandi palace, Laxmi Narayan temple, the house of the late painters Durga and Mangnu, Obri Dharmasala, and Devi Kothi at Vera (Churah tahsil).
Dhamija , Jasleen
Survey of Arts and Crafts of Rajasthan: Techniques of Important Crafts and their Adaptations to Modern Use — Painting
Vol. 18 Issue no. 1; December 1964, p. 55-57
The rich painting tradition in Rajasthan is evident in the folk murals on the walls of houses and palaces at Berath, Amber, and Udaipur, illustrated manuscripts in the Jaina Bhandars, and miniature paintings of Kishangarh, Jaipur, and Mewar schools. Kripal Singh Shekhawat is a well-known painter who has maintained the traditional form of painting and contributed to its further development. Miniatures are being made in Nathdwara, Udaipur, Jaipur, and Bikaner. Other contemporary styles are the paintings on long scrolls (phads), and small paper paintings of various deities by the Joshis.
Titley , Norah
Persian Miniatures of the 14th, 15th, 16th Centuries and its Influence on Indian Painting
Vol. 28 Issue no. 3; June 1975, p. 13-18
The article traces the history of Persian miniature paintings from the 14th century in Iran, and the development of Persian painting in Shiraz, Herat, Yezd, and Tabriz. The influence of Persian artists on Indian art was visible from the 15th century, and continued in the Mughal court.
Titley , Norah
Fifteenth Century Persian Miniature Painting
Vol. 30 Issue no. 2; March 1977, p. 13-22 [Also in - Persian Painting: Fourteenth Century - Fifteenth Century; Pages - 13-22]
A chronology of the development of Persian miniature painting, which and reached its peak at Herat in c.1450 with the greatest Persian artist Bihzad. The Shiraz and Tabriz styles became fused in the Herat style, as seen from a study of miniature paintings of that time.
Doshi , Saryu
The Art Treasures of Shravana Belgola
Vol. 33 Issue no. 3, p. 49-88 [Also in - Homage to Shravana Belgola; Pages - 101-140; Ed. Saryu Doshi]
Apart from the objects produced by artists at Shravana Belgola, the temples and mathas contain many images and manuscripts that have been received as offerings. They include miniature paintings in the palm-leaf manuscripts of Shatakhandagama, Mahabandha, and Kashayapahuda (c. 1113-25); the Mysore School paintings of Samavasarana, Neminatha Tirthankara, and portraits of the 24 tirthankaras (late 19th century); wall paintings of the Mysore School in the Jaina Matha (c. 1750-75 or 1825-50); and metal images of the Jina belonging to the10th-11th and 18th-19th century.
Bhattacharyya , D.C.
A Dated Manuscript of the Devimahatmya Paintings
Vol. 38 Issue no. 3, p. 81-82
Only a few dated examples of Indian miniature paintings are known to scholars of Indian art history. An unpublished dated manuscript of the Devimahatmya paintings, that has recently come to notice, is thus an important addition to the extant sources available for the study of Indian miniatures. The manuscript under discussion was in the private collection of Brigadier Dr B.D. Banerjee of Chandigarh who permitted the writer to study the manuscript before it was handed over to the National Museum in whose collection it is now housed. The paintings are executed in watercolour with a predominant use of gold lacquer. The paintings pertain to the depiction of the theme of the Devimahatmya. This note is a brief description of the manuscript and lists the dimensions of the manuscript as well as discusses the subject matter, the importance of the dating on the colophon, the probable style and school of the paintings, and the patron of the manuscript.
Agrawal , O.P.
Preservation of Miniature Paintings
Vol. 44 Issue no. 1; September 1992, p. 77-80
Miniature paintings which are normally done on paper, are probably the most delicate of all art objects, liable to be damaged easily. This note discusses the many preservation techniques of paper miniature paintings. This includes humidity control, proper light levels, and protection from fungi and insects.
Kuehnel , E.
Indian Miniatures in the Berlin Museum
Vol. 3 Issue no. 1, p. 20-37
16 miniatures of the Mughal period are illustrated with critical notes. The art of miniature painting became independent of the Persian style under Akbar, and technical perfection was achieved under Jehangir. The pictures form pictorial documents of the period; the careful study of nature and the reproduction of actual impressions give them their characteristic quality. In representing form rather than the abstract and ornament, these portrayals diverged from the Muslim aesthetic orientation. The influence of Hindu masters, contact with European painting, the concept of albums of paintings, painters’ training and technique, and the themes portrayed are also discussed. In the 17th century, with a decline in court patronage, artists returned to popular religious and romantic themes. The last golden ages of Mughal painting produced the Ragmala paintings.
Dickenson , Eric
“The Way of Pleasure”: The Kishangarh Paintings
Vol. 3 Issue no. 4, p. 29-35 + 1 unnumbered leaf between p. 28-29
The quest of the writer to correlate the Kishangarh miniatures, depicting the love of Radha for Krishna, with the poems of Nagari Das (alias Maharaja Sawant Singh) leads him to conclude that the hedonistic appeal of the paintings receives confirmation from the Pushti Marga (= way of pleasure) doctrine of the Vallabhacharya sect, of which Nagari Das was a follower. It is also stated that the best poems of Nagari Das had their illustrated companions in the paintings, which were executed in the second half of the 18th century by Nihal Chand. The striking stylization of Radha and Krishna renders a distinctive character to these paintings.
Chandra , Moti
A Painted Scroll from Nepal
Vol. 4 Issue no. 1, p. 42-49
The story of Kotikarna from the Divyavadana, found in an illustrated scroll belonging to the new school of Nepalese miniature painting at the end of the 17th century, is recounted. The scroll owes its origin to the pre-Mughal school characterized by a Rajput-Mughal complex, and may be dated to the early 18th century (i.e., about 1710 CE) as Bhupatindra Malla Deva (1687-1721) is the donor of the scroll. The human figures are executed in the traditions of mixed Rajput-Mughal type and the indigenous early Nepalese school, the latter characterized by an abundant use of mudras (hand gestures).
Khandalavala , Karl
Notes on a Nepalese Manuscript Miniature
Vol. 4 Issue no. 1, p. 53-56
The late 14th or early 15th century illustration of the Dhyani Buddha Amitabha, with two Bodhisattvas on either side, on a Nepalese manuscript leaf is compared with treatment of the motifs in other manuscripts. The Nepalese manuscript illustrations upto the end of the 14th century follow the Bengal palm leaf manuscripts of the Palas, with allowances for certain differences. The Ajantaesque influence in Pala and Nepalese styles is denied. The divergent development of Gujarati manuscript illustrations from those of the Palas and Nepal — though both trace their origin to the idiom expressed at Ellora — is attributed to the decline in royal patronage for painters in Gujarat.
Goetz , Hermann
Decline & Rebirth of Medieval Indian Art: Western Indian Painting
Vol. 4 Issue no. 2, p. 36-48
This is a review article of Moti Chandra’s book “Jain Miniature Paintings from Western India”. It outlines the development of Jaina painting: its early (pre-Mughal) phase which follows sculpture-styles on Chalukya (Solanki) temple in Gujarat and southern Rajputana; end of the comparatively free and vivid phase of Gujarati Jaina art in the last quarter of the 13th century with the decline of the Vaghelas; revival in the middle of the 15th century along with pre Muslim art in Rajputana; and transition from Jaina to Rajput painting in the 16th century. The parallelism between Jaina paintings and the murals of Pagan in Burma is interpreted as the result of a similar art-cum-sociological situation, and not indicative of a relation between them (as Moti Chandra writes). In contrast to contemporary sculptures, Jaina pictures are angular, crude, and flat. Three explanations are considered: a puritan prejudice against painting among the Jaina community; the preserved manuscripts and book covers are works of only a modest middle-class art; 17th-century Lama Taranatha’s definition, which makes it clear that the Western Indian School was less accomplished than Eastern art. However, it is postulated that sculpture developed earlier than painting in the civilization of the time, and evolution of painting was further retarded by Muslim invasions, and had to restart in the 16th century. Most of the Western Indian School paintings known to us were executed for the Jaina community. The miniature styles of Persia in the Mongol period, and later (between 1440-75) the Muslim art of Gujarat, Malwa, and Uttar Pradesh were influences. The transitional Jaina Rajput style of the late 16th century can be accepted as evidence not the for evolution of Rajput painting but for the intrusion ofRajput pictorial style is traced back to at least the last quarter of the 16th century.
Khandalavala , Karl
Leaves From Rajasthan, A Dated Bhagavata Purana of the Bhandarkar Oriental Institute, Poona, and Notes on the Chronology of Early Rajput Painting [Editorial]
Vol. 4 Issue no. 3; Deepavali 1950, p. 2-24, 49-56
The chronology is established with the aid of dated landmarks in Rajasthani miniature painting which typify its stages of development. As against the pre-Mughal ancestry of the school advocated by Coomaraswamy and Goetz, Hermann, it is argued that the impact of the Mughal school on conventional Gujarati style manuscript illustration gave rise to Rajasthani miniature painting. In the late 15th century, a number of Gujarati illustrated manuscripts, e.g. the Devasans Pada Kalpasutra, displayed a marked Persian influence. The first results of the Mughal impact are dated to the last decade of the 16th century, and continued to be reflected in various manuscripts datable between 1590 and 1680. The typical features of these Rajasthani paintings, including facial types and costumes, are compared, and it is concluded that the Rajasthani school had its slow development from the fountainhead of Mughal influence.
Gangoly , O.C.
The Problem of Molaram
Vol. 4 Issue no. 4, p. 34-39
The contribution of Molaram to the last phase of the Garhwal branch of the Pahari school is appraised on the basis of his autobiographical poem and miniature paintings obtained from his great-grandson Balak Ram. There is a wide divergence and discrepancy in treatment between the works carrying Molaram’s signature and those attributed to him but without his name. The former show a general lack of refinement and grace characterizing the decadence of the Pahari style then at the extreme end of its brilliant span, whereas the latter are superior, examples being “Shiva and Parvati”, “Varsa-Vihara” and “Kaliya Damana”. It is suggested that Molaram possessed working drawings from recognized masterpieces for duplication. The original “Varsa-Vihara” in Boston is compared with its copy, and it is concluded that ascription of the former to Molaram is doubtful.
Goetz , Hermann
The Classification and Chronology of Rajput Painting and the Bikaner MINIATURES
Vol. 5 Issue no. 1, p. 17-21
These are two letters to the editor — the first by Dr H. Goetz who reiterates his theory of a Rajput painting school of the early 16th century, and the other by Karl Khandalavala who refutes the theory. Goetz counters the criticisms of Khandalavala and W.G. Archer, and argues that the history of Rajput painting should not be dissociated from political events. Bundelkhand and Bikaner flourished between circa 1530-1630 and 1573-1620 respectively, and these phases saw cultural activity in Rajasthan, while Mewar’s devastation between 1567-1614 and 1678-83 does not suggest any art tradition in these periods. On the other hand, Kandalavala emphasizes the importance of dated examples in the study of changing styles and chronology of Rajput painting.
Khandalavala , Karl
Five Miniatures in the Collection of Sir Cowasji Jehangir, Bart., Bombay
Vol. 5 Issue no. 2, p. 24-32
This is a collection well known in India and abroad. The first miniature discussed is a portrait of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, whose reign is the high-water mark of Deccani painting as indicated by the list of notable works in his period. The painting is by Murtaza Khan and clearly a product of the Deccani school. The second painting, of a Deccani prince or nobleman by Abdul Qadir, is ascribed to the 17th century as it shows Mughal influence of Aurangzeb’s period. The date of the third miniature, an illustration to the Iyar-i-Danish, is accepted as 1606 CE. The lady depicted in the miniature of the Kishangarh school is tentatively identified as Radha, while the fifth painting of dervishes is attributed to Shanker, one of Akbar’s court painters.
Goetz , Hermann
Masterpieces of Mogul Painting: The Album of Emperor Jehangir
Vol. 6 Issue no. 2, p. 39-44
The label “Indo-Persian” for Mughal art is inappropriate, as classic Mughal art contains only a modest Persian element, and in its golden age is a reflection of the spirit and ideals of the cosmopolitan Mughal court, where religion, clan, and marital connections (and not nationality) were accorded importance. This syncretic art reached its zenith in Jehangir’s time, as evident in his picture album discovered by the writer at the Prussian State Library in 1923. This album, unique in classic Mughal art, contains various miniatures, calligraphies, European etchings, a coherent set of portraits of political personalities Jahangir met between 1606 and 1618, and self portraits of Akbar’s and Jahangir’s painters. Most albums have miniatures pasted on thick cardboard with the margins painted in many colours and gold.
Khandalavala , Karl
The Laud Ragamala Miniatures
Vol. 6 Issue no. 4; Deepavali 1953, p. 26-29
This set of 18 pictures illustrating “the Garland of Songs” is named after Archbishop Laud because it was through him that the Bodleian Library, Oxford, was donated the set in 1640. In the face of various theories on the provenance and date of the paintings, it is maintained that they were painted in the Deccan. This conclusion is based on stylistic parallels between these paintings and the Deccani style. The considerable Mughal influence helps date the miniatures to 1620 at the earliest, possibly 1625. The article also contains a leaflet with explanatory notes and sketches on the illustrations.
Fabri , Charles
Ballet Costume in Akbar’s Time
Vol. 7 Issue no. 1; December 1953, p. 17-22
The dancer’s costumes, as evident in various miniatures, show that the short-lived staggered multiple ballet skirt (similar in structure to the tutu) in the time of Akbar gave way to a diaphanous skirt soon after Jehangir’s accession. The Akbari ballet-tutu is seen in a miniature from the Akbar-nama in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum and a Rajasthani miniature illustrating the Raga Megha, but it is an oddity. The completely transparent skirt of Jehangir’s time is evident on a leaf of the Rasikapriya and as late as 1750 in Lady Rothenstein’s miniature. The dancers’ costumes help in the dating of miniatures — thus, the Rasikapriya leaf is dated here closer to 1620 than 1610, while Archbishop Laud’s miniatures are tentatively put 10 years earlier than Karl Khandalavala’s date of 1625. It is also suggested that the diaphanous skirt was worn only by dancers in the 18th century.
Goetz , Hermann
Rajput Sculpture and Painting under Raja Umed Singh of Chamba
Vol. 7 Issue no. 4; September 1954, p. 23-34
The palaces and temples of Umed Singh shed light on the sculptural and pictorial style of his reign (1748-64). The Rang Mahal and Jajnagar palace reveal Mughal architecture embellished with decorative paintings. The Khanchandi palace contains murals in the Mughal taste, some later renewed in Kangra and Sikh styles. The Brahmor Kothi (probably erected around 1762) has reliefs on a door and beneath balconies representing, inter alia, Rajput nobles, a raja, and an Afghan prince. The Chamunda temple of Devi-ri-Kothi displays a makara head, a frieze of the Navagraha, bas-reliefs, Mughal cusped arches, carvings, and wall paintings. Stylistically, the reliefs and murals represent a transition between the older Basohli-Rajput tradition and Mughal influence. The miniature paintings include a portrait of Umed Singh, sets of the Bhagavata Purana and the Ramayana. With Umed Singh’s death, Chamba art merged into the broader stream of “Kangra” art.
Leach , Linda
In the Image of man – The Indian Perception of the Universe through 2000 Years of Painting and Sculpture – Painting
Vol. 35 Issue no. 4, p. 29-42 [Also in - Pageant of Indian Art: Festival of India in Great Britain; Pages - 29-42; Ed. Dr. Saryu Doshi]
The remarkable variety of Indian painting, emphasized in each of the thematic sections of the “In the Image of Man” exhibition, was suggested by the wide range of miniatures displayed at the Hayward Gallery for the Festival of India, Great Britain in 1982. Since there is no single stylistic factor that links the numerous symbolic and naturalistic manners of painting, artistic themes are a means of comprehending the differences between schools as most artists illustrated common subjects. This article gives an overview of the different schools of paintings, subject matter, and styles on display at the exhibition.
Mittal , Jagdish
The Wall Paintings of Chamba
Vol. 8 Issue no. 3; June 1955, p. 38-42, 97
Rang Mahal in Chamba, built by Umed Singh (1748-64) and his successors, houses murals which were conceived by one master (or a group of artists of equal calibre), but executed by various artists: Durga, his son Mangnu, and the descendents of Hindu and Muslim artists from Basohli and Guler. Their subjects cover Krishna Lila, Mahabharata, Ramayana, dalliances of Shiva and Parvati, and Durga Path. It is likely that some Guler-Kangra artists assisted in painting these murals, as the quality, subject, and finish are in the Guler style. One general defect is that they are mostly enlarged versions of miniatures, the composition of which suits only a miniature. However, they are important as they may offer incidental evidence of the Indian tradition of wall paintings in its last stages. The production process for the paintings is elaborated. Besides murals, painting was also done on wooden panels for doors and windows.
Goetz , Hermann
General Surveys of Schools of Rajasthani Painting: Marwar (with Some Paintings from Jodhpur in the Collection of Kumar Sangram Singh)
Vol. 11 Issue no. 2; March 1958, p. 42-49
The article identifies the different phases in the development of the Marwar school, and ascribes certain miniatures to each of these phases. The initial development, connected with Rao Maldeo (1532-68/69), reached its zenith under the Rajas Udai Singh (1581-95) and Sur Singh (1595-1620). A semi-Mughal style, introduced by Sur Singh, Gaj Singh (1620-38), and Jaswant Singh (1638-78), was continued in the Jodhpur court, and developed into a pure Mughal style in the reign of Ajit Singh. This became an integral part of painting in the time of Abhai Singh (1724-50). In the later Jodhpur phase under Ram Singh (1750-52), Bakhat Singh (1752-53), Bijai Singh (1753-93), and Bhim Singh (1793-1803), the Mughal style gave way to Rajput tendencies, and its apogee was reached under Man Singh (1803-43), to whose reign a large number of paintings are ascribed. After him, painting survived, but only as a decorative art.
Goetz , Hermann
General Surveys of Schools of Rajasthani Painting: Jaipur
Vol. 11 Issue no. 2; March 1958, p. 53-59
The writer ascribes various miniatures of the Jaipur school to different phases of stylistic development. The first phase (1570-1625) showed characteristics of the Indo-Muslim painting of Malwa. In the second phase, the reign of Raja Jai Singh I (1625-67), contemporary Mughal elements were introduced, while conserving the Rajput tradition. Between 1667 and c. 1750, the Mughal influence was at its strongest, so much so that real works of Jaipur have been discarded as Mughal creations. In the years c. 1750-68, the Mughal influence gave way to a phase of pure Rajput art. The last grand phase of the Jaipur school began in the reign of Sawai Partap Singh II (1778-1803) and continued into the early years of Sawai Ram Singh (1835-80). The following years upto 1880, marked the final phase of stereotyped mass production.
Dickenson , Eric
General Surveys of Schools of Rajasthani Painting: Kishangarh
Vol. 11 Issue no. 2; March 1958, p. 60-61
The writer correlates the Kishangarh miniatures with the poems of Nagari Das (alias Maharaja Sawant Singh, 1748-57), and attributes the hedonistic appeal of the paintings to the Pushti Marga (“way of pleasure”) doctrine of the Vallabhacharya sect, of which Nagari Das was a member. Several of the best poems of Nagari Das have their illustrated complement in the paintings, which were executed in the second half of the 18th century. Nihal Chand, the most famous of the Kishangarh painters, rendered a stylized facial type in the paintings of Radha and Krishna. This was perhaps done to impart a distinctive character to the paintings . the Kishangarh miniatures show an awareness of the Mughal techniques, but remain faithful to the Rajput ethos.
Tulayev , S.I.
Miniatures from a 16th Century Manuscript — “Babur Namah”
Vol. 11 Issue no. 3; June 1958, p. 45-52 + 1 unnumbered leaf between p. 44-45
There are 69 miniatures from the Babur Namah (painted in Akbar’s time) in the State Museum of Eastern Cultures, Moscow. The illustrations strictly follow the text of Babur’s diary in terms of costumes, architectural details, flora and fauna, and landscape. Some of the miniatures are described to emphasize their colouring, balanced composition, expressive drawing, narrative nature, influence of European painting, and decoration.
Welch , Stuart C.
Miniatures from a Manuscript of the Diwan-i-Hafiz
Vol. 11 Issue no. 3; June 1958, p. 56-62
The National Museum, Delhi acquired a copy of the Diwan of the Persian poet Hafiz (1320-89). This copy has 11 miniatures and a number of illuminated pages of manuscript. It is small in size, with minute workmanship. The miniatures include depictions of court and garden scenes, and were executed by some of the best known artists of Akbar’s period.
Wiener , Ernst Cohn
Miniatures from a Razm Namah
Vol. 11 Issue no. 3; June 1958, p. 63-64
The Razm Namah is a Persian composition from the Mahabharata for the use of Akbar and his courtiers. 32 of the present lot of unpublished miniatures (of Akbar’s later years) are in the Picture Gallery, Baroda. They show Timurid and Hindu influences, and are painted by various Hindu and Muslim artists, whose names occur in the miniatures.

The Early Muraqqa’s of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir
Vol. 11 Issue no. 4; September 1958, p. 33-41
In the reign of Jahangir the Mughal style proper emerged from the eclectic art patronized by his father Akbar. Among the profusion of wall paintings, illustrated manuscripts, and individual miniatures in the reign of Jahangir, the muraqqa’s (picture albums) are the most important, as they permit some insight into this formative process. The early muraqqa’s have unique decorative margins and this art was probably brought from Turkestan to the Mughal court either by Farrukh Beg Qalmaq (the head of the imperial painting studio), or other Persian artists before him. The genre scenes in the margins are copies from early Mughal, Akbari, Christian, and Rajput miniatures. The later Safavid style was cultivated at Jahangir’s court 1595, and its major protagonist was Aqa Riza, a Persian painter who came to India at that time. This was followed by a group of miniatures which show a mixture of Persian and Rajput elements, but also reveal certain characteristics of the classic Mughal style as it developed in the later years of Jahangir.
Khandalavala , Karl
Painting: Eighteenth Century Mughal Painting: (Some Characteristics and Some Misconceptions)
Vol. 11 Issue no. 4; September 1958, p. 58-61
The imperial ateliers were neglected by Aurangzeb, and miniature painting was limited to portraits and darbar, battle, and occasional hunting scenes. After his death, under Jahandar Shah and his mistress Lal Kaur, there is a predominance of love, music, dance, and zenana scenes, and this trend continued throughout the 18th century. The tendency towards elongation of the human figure — seen in Aurangzeb’s later period — continued in the reign of Farrukh Siyar (1713-19), but not later. Other changes noticed through the reigns of Farrukh Siyar, Muhammad Shah (1719-48), and Shah Alam (1759-1886) are in the style of the jama, turban, and architecture, short and squat subsidiary figures in the composition (Muhammad Shah’s reign and later), and shaded faces (Shah Alam and later). In Shah Alam’s reign, copies of 17th-century works were made. This led to confused dating: the copies are often regarded as genuine 17th-century paintings, and vice-versa. The writer cites several examples of such mistaken identities.
Ettinghausen , Richard
Painting: The Bustan Manuscript of Sultan Nasir Shah Khalji
Vol. 12 Issue no. 3; June 1959, p. 40-43
This illustrated manuscript of Sa’di’s Bustan in the National Museum, New Delhi, was painted by Hajji Mahmud, with calligraphy in the Nastaliq script by Shahsuwara, and executed for the Khalji sultan, Nasir Shah (r. 1500-10). It has 43 miniatures depicting various scenes in the usual Persian decorative manner. The style of the manuscript is similar to the illuminated manuscripts executed in Bukhara under the Shaybanid rulers as early as 1520 and 1523.
Chandra , Pramod
Painting: Notes on Mandu Kalpasutra of A.D. 1439
Vol. 12 Issue no. 3; June 1959, p. 51-54
The Kalpasutra was prepared in VS 1496 (1439 CE) at the fort of Mandu in the reign of Mahmud Shah Khalji. A few miniatures from the manuscript are described to highlight the features common with the Ni’matnama, and thereby to show the continuity in style between these two manuscripts. Some of the features are also seen in the Jaunpur Kalpasutra of 1465 CE.
Fabri , Charles
Music, Theme and Costume: Kathak Costume in Mughal Times
Vol. 12 Issue no. 4; September 1959, p. 58-61
The tutu-shaped ballet skirt, seen in a miniature from the Akbarnama (c. 1605) and in a Rajasthani picture illustrating the Raja Megha (c. 1610) had a short life and was replaced by a completely transparent skirt and the churidar by the time of Jahangir. This dance costume is depicted in a leaf of the Rasikapriya dated here close to 1620, and is seen as late as 1750. The multiple skirt of the ballet dancer gave way to the churidar pyjama early in Jahangir’s reign.
Welch , Stuart C. , Ettinghausen , Richard , Mittal , Jagdish
Portfolio [Deccani Miniature Paintings]
Vol. 16 Issue no. 2; March 1963, p. 7-22 + 2 unnumbered leaves between p. 22-23
The text and photographs trace the stylistic development of the Bidar, Bijapur, and Golconda schools of Deccani paintings.
Khandalavala , Karl
Reflections on Deccani Painting
Vol. 16 Issue no. 2; March 1963, p. 23-24
The writer identifies the problems inherent in the study of Deccani painting, and calls for a reconsideration of prevailing theories and conjectures, and the systematic collection and publication (with adequate picture reproductions) of available dated material up to 1700 and those manuscripts and paintings bearing inscriptions indicating provenance. The problems identified are: the state of miniature painting in Vijayanagar (14th century to 1565); precise dating; relationship between Deccani painting and north and central Indian painting during the 16th century; and copies of early Deccani painting.
Welch , Stuart C. , Ettinghausen , Richard , Skelton , Robert
Bijapur
Vol. 16 Issue no. 2; March 1963, p. 29-39
Stuart C. Welch illustrates and describes a pocket-sized painting of a prince and an ascetic (probably executed during the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah II, 1580-1627, of Bijapur), and another painting of a horse-rider in Tughra calligraphic style (c. 1600) bearing Deccani earmarks. Richard Ettinghausen shows 2 parallel paintings of a running swordsman and a fighting scene (attributed tentatively to Bijapur). Also reproduced are 6 pictures from Robert Skelton’s earlier essay, “Documents for the Study of Painting at Bijapur in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Century” for Arts Asiatique, tome v, Fascicule 2, 1958, with excerpted comments on each picture in the effort to renew discussion on this obscure phase of the history of painting in the Deccan.
Muhammed Ashraf
Arcot
Vol. 16 Issue no. 2; March 1963, p. 64
A European influence dominates the Arcot school of painting. The important painters were Muhammad Sadiq, Rai Venkatachellum, and Tajalli (Ali) Shah. There are over 80 miniatures by Tajalli in the Tuzuk-e-Asafiyyah in the National Museum, New Delhi.
Dhamija , Jasleen
Survey of Arts and Crafts of Rajasthan: Techniques of Important Crafts and their Adaptations to Modern Use — Painting
Vol. 18 Issue no. 1; December 1964, p. 55-57
The rich painting tradition in Rajasthan is evident in the folk murals on the walls of houses and palaces at Berath, Amber, and Udaipur, illustrated manuscripts in the Jaina Bhandars, and miniature paintings of Kishangarh, Jaipur, and Mewar schools. Kripal Singh Shekhawat is a well-known painter who has maintained the traditional form of painting and contributed to its further development. Miniatures are being made in Nathdwara, Udaipur, Jaipur, and Bikaner. Other contemporary styles are the paintings on long scrolls (phads), and small paper paintings of various deities by the Joshis.

Portfolio [Turkish Painting]
Vol. 26 Issue no. 4; September 1973, p. 5-16
The paintings depict the tradition as it developed from Khorasan to Anatolia between the 13th and 17th centuries. They assimilate different techniques, and include portraitures, biblical adaptations, and calligraphic miniatures.
Cagman , Filiz
Ottoman Turkish Miniatures
Vol. 26 Issue no. 4; September 1973, p. 29-52 [Acknowledgements and Bibliography on page 54]
The manuscripts of Turkish Anatolian art date from the establishment of the Ottoman State in the 14th century. The article discusses, with representative paintings, the influences, styles, composition, and subject matter of the different schools of painting which flourished under the Ottoman Turkish rulers between the 15th and 18th centuries.
Anand , Mulk Raj
Dr. W.G. Archer’s Magnum Opus Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills
Vol. 28 Issue no. 2; March 1975, p. iii-ix [Supplement to Vol. 28 No. 2 ]
This feature on W.G. Archer’s book outlines the approach of various writings on Pahari paintings, and the impact of Archer’s major contribution.
Archer , W.G.
Pahari Miniatures: A Concise History
Vol. 28 Issue no. 2; March 1975, p. 2-44
In this independant treatise, written as a popular companion to his magnum opus, “Indian Paintings from the Punjab Hills”, the author briefly surveys Pahari miniatures on the basis of pictures which have come to light in the 35 states comprising the Punjab hills. The themes, styles, and patronage of the miniatures are studied under the following local schools: Mankot and Basohli; Kulu; Jammu, Jasrota, Bhoti, and Bandralta; Mandi, Kahlur, Baghal, Hindur, and Suket; Nurpur and Chamba; Guler, Garhwal, and Sirmur; and Kangra, Siba, and Datarpur.
Anand , Mulk Raj
Homage to Amir Khusrau [Editorial]
Vol. 28 Issue no. 3; June 1975, p. 2-12
Abdul Hasan Yamin-ud-din Khusrau (b. 1253) was the poet laureate of five monarchs. His poetic compilations and prose narratives demonstrate his concept of absolute love, and his bold use of mixed Persian and Hindavi metaphors. Certain episodes from his poems are illustrated in miniatures in Turkman style by Persian artists from the early 15th century onwards.
Titley , Norah
Persian Miniatures of the 14th, 15th, 16th Centuries and its Influence on Indian Painting
Vol. 28 Issue no. 3; June 1975, p. 13-18
The article traces the history of Persian miniature paintings from the 14th century in Iran, and the development of Persian painting in Shiraz, Herat, Yezd, and Tabriz. The influence of Persian artists on Indian art was visible from the 15th century, and continued in the Mughal court.
Titley , Norah , Marg
Miniature Paintings Illustrating the Works of Amir Khusrau: 15th, 16th, 17th Centuries
Vol. 28 Issue no. 3; June 1975, p. 19-52
The miniatures illustrate various works of Amir Khusrau: Hasht Bihisht, Khamsa, Qiran Al-Sa’dain and Intikhab-i-Divan, Duvalrani Khizr Khan, Majnun-u-Laila, and Kulliyat (collected works of Amir Khusrau).
Ettinghausen , Richard
Introduction
Vol. 29 Issue no. 3; June 1976, p. 2-5
This special issue of Marg reviews the richly varied material on Arab miniature painting, which began at the end of the 12th century. The introduction brings out the special merits, themes, and quality of Arab painting, and examines the reasons for its decay.
Marg
Paintings of the Akbar Namah
Vol. 29 Issue no. 4; September 1976, p. 37-46
A fragment of Abul Fazl’s Akbar Namah is preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It has 117 full-page miniatures, illustrating the events of Akbar’s early reign (1560-77).
Marg
The Emergence of Style in Fourteenth Century Persian Painting
Vol. 30 Issue no. 1; December 1976, p. 5-9 [Also in - Persian Painting: Fourteenth Century Fifteenth Century; Pages - 5-9]
The essay looks at miniatures painted during the Caliphate period (10th-11th century), their motifs, transition in style, the new Mongol style in Persia under Sultan Abu Sa’id, and the patronage towards painting by the Il Khanid rulers in 14th-century Iran.
Anand , Mulk Raj
The Sources of Poetic Imagination in the Fifteenth Century Persian Painting
Vol. 30 Issue no. 2; March 1977, p. 4-12 [Also in - Persian Painting: Fourteenth Century - Fifteenth Century; Pages - 4-12]
The existential monism of the Sufi saints pervaded secular poetry in the Persian language from the 10th century onwards. By the 15th century, there were many poems which recounted classic stories in the neo-romantic tradition. Timur and his successors initiated a renaissance which helped creativity during the 15th century in Persia, and also continued the tradition of painting miniatures. Thus, the period 1450-1500 in Heart witnessed intense poetic, artistic, and architectural creativity.
Titley , Norah
Fifteenth Century Persian Miniature Painting
Vol. 30 Issue no. 2; March 1977, p. 13-22 [Also in - Persian Painting: Fourteenth Century - Fifteenth Century; Pages - 13-22]
A chronology of the development of Persian miniature painting, which and reached its peak at Herat in c.1450 with the greatest Persian artist Bihzad. The Shiraz and Tabriz styles became fused in the Herat style, as seen from a study of miniature paintings of that time.
Das , Asok Kumar
Miniatures
Vol. 30 Issue no. 4; September 1977, p. 77-94, 102 [Also in - Homage to Jaipur; Pages - 77-94, 102 Notes and References on page 102]
The artistic heritage of the Amber-Jaipur region is known from the first quarter of the 17th century. There were regional painting schools, and the Jaipur kings — Mirza Raja Jai Singh (1621-67), Raja Ram Singh I, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh (1699-1743) and his successors — played a significant role in their development.
Doshi , Saryu
Spring Feeling: The Vasanta Vilasa (Three Vignettes)
Vol. 31 Issue no. 4; September 1978, p. 37-39 [Also in - Homage to Kalamkari; Pages - 37-39]
The Vasanta Vilasa is a poem in old Gujarati celebrating the coming of spring and the end of winter. An illustrated copy — commissioned by Shah Shri Chandrapala in 1451-52 at Ahmadabad — originally contained 84 miniatures executed in the Western Indian style of painting.
Mate , M.S.
Miniature Painting
Vol. 34 Issue no. 2, p. 65-71 [Also in - Shivaji and Facets of Maratha Culture; Title - Architecture and Painting: Miniature Painting; Pages - 137-143; Ed. Saryu Doshi]
The Maratha miniature painting tradition started in c. 1750. It was patronized by Shivaji’s grandson Shahu (1710-50) and Peshwa Bajirao. A distinct but short lived school emerged by 1760, with portraiture, court scenes, paintings of divinities, and erotic paintings. The miniatures were in a vigorous and bold style.
Doshi , Saryu , Tandan , Raj
A Ragamala Series
Vol. 34 Issue no. 3, p. 96-98
A ragamala series was discovered near Udaipur, portraying Kshemakarna’s version. The article discusses its format, iconography, and stylistic features, and tentatively attributes the series to a provenance of north Deccan.
Doshi , Saryu
The Iconic and the Narrative in Jain Painting: Miniature Painting : Early Articulations: 1050-1350 A.D.; Regional Interpretations: 1350-1550 A.D.
Vol. 36 Issue no. 3, p. 31-52 [Also in - Masterpieces of Jain Painting; Pages - 31-82; Ed. Saryu Doshi; Extended version of article in the Bk]
The beginnings of Jain miniature painting survive in the form of illustrated palm-leaf manuscripts and wooden book-covers belonging to the 11th and 12th centuries. The palm-leaf manuscripts were written either in ink with a reed pen, or incised with a stylus and smeared with powdered ink. Of the manuscripts executed in this phase, just a handful are illustrated. They are copies of canonical texts and contain only a few miniatures. In contrast to the palm-leaf manuscripts are the wooden book-covers of this period called patlis. They exhibit a remarkable freedom in their style as well as content. The miniatures in these early palm-leaf manuscripts and wooden patlis are executed in the Western Indian Style of painting, and most of the early documents belong to the region of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Towards the end of the 13th century, a new development occurred — the narrative content of the text began to receive attention.
Doshi , Saryu
Traditions in Art – Miniature Painting
Vol. 36 Issue no. 4, p. 49-64 [Also in - Maharashtra; Pages - 175-190; Ed. Dr. Saryu Doshi]
The painting tradition of Maharashtra, which must have expressed itself in mural as well as miniature forms, is unfortunately, largely lost. Its superb achievements are known only from the wall-paintings at Ajanta and a few fragments of Ellora. In all probability, miniature painting was also practised at these monasteries as manuscript illustration, but no examples have survived. The tradition of painting seems to have disappeared in Maharashtra after Ellora sometime in the 9th or 10th century. When it emerged again in the 16th century, it was in the form of miniature painting for the Islamic rulers of the Deccan. Thereafter, the pictorial tradition developed in a continuous movement, finding expression in both miniatures and murals.
Doshi , Saryu
The Tradition of Manuscript Illustration
Vol. 38 Issue no. 3, p. 53-76 [Also in - A Collector's Dream: Indian Art in the collections of Basant Kumar and Saraladevi Birla and the Birla Academy of Art and Culture; Pages - 53-76; Ed. Karl Khandalavala and Saryu Doshi]
Of the miniatures that have survived in India, the earliest group is in the form of illuminations in the sacred books of the Buddhists and Jains. By the beginning of the Common Era, canonical texts were being transcribed on folios made from birch bark or palm-leaf. The earliest extant group of illustrated manuscripts is on palm-leaf and belongs to a period that extends from the 10th to the 12th century. This article gives an overview of the tradition of manuscript illustration in India from the earliest Buddhist tradition of the10th century to the Islamic tradition of the Mughals and the Deccani rulers, to the southern traditions of the 18th century. It includes discussions on the Jain tradition, the Chaurapanchasika style, the Islamic tradition, Hindu painting and secular painting, the Mughal tradition, and the Deccani and Southern styles. The article is illustrated with manuscripts from the Birla Collections.
Bhattacharyya , D.C.
A Dated Manuscript of the Devimahatmya Paintings
Vol. 38 Issue no. 3, p. 81-82
Only a few dated examples of Indian miniature paintings are known to scholars of Indian art history. An unpublished dated manuscript of the Devimahatmya paintings, that has recently come to notice, is thus an important addition to the extant sources available for the study of Indian miniatures. The manuscript under discussion was in the private collection of Brigadier Dr B.D. Banerjee of Chandigarh who permitted the writer to study the manuscript before it was handed over to the National Museum in whose collection it is now housed. The paintings are executed in watercolour with a predominant use of gold lacquer. The paintings pertain to the depiction of the theme of the Devimahatmya. This note is a brief description of the manuscript and lists the dimensions of the manuscript as well as discusses the subject matter, the importance of the dating on the colophon, the probable style and school of the paintings, and the patron of the manuscript.
Mukherjee , B.N.
The Painted Manuscript Covers From Nawapur (Gilgit)
Vol. 41 Issue no. 3; June 1988, p. 86-88
This note discusses the three Buddhist painted wooden covers in the Central Asian Museum of the Centre for Central Asian Studies at the Kashmir University, Srinagar. It describes the painted miniatures on the wooden covers, the style and iconography, dating and period, and dimensions of the covers.
Craven Jr. , Roy C.
The Reign of Raja Dalip Singh (1695-1741) and the Siege of Lanka Series of Guler
Vol. 42 Issue no. 1; September 1990, p. 4-56 [Also in - Ramayana: Pahari Paintings; Pages - 2-22; Title - The Paintings; Pages - 23-66; Ed. Roy C. Craven, Jr. Appendix A: Known folios from the Siege of Lanka Series as they relate to the various chapters i
Central to the development of the painting style at Guler is a set of paintings and drawings known as the Siege of Lanka series, which have been dated by W.G. Archer to c. 1725-30. The painting of the series not only served the Guler court's religious bias, but also flattered the ruler Dalip Singh by drawing a parallel between his experiences and the heroic trials of Rama. The Siege of Lanka series is an important transitional body of work, created between the then favoured Basohli kalam and a later modified style, which would move towards what some historians identify as the "pre-Kangra" hill style of c.1740-55. This article discusses the style and elements of the paintings as well as the parallel historical and political developments of the region and reign of Raja Dalip Singh. This also article contains many of the folios, which are illustrations of events in the great epic poem, the Ramayana, as narrated in the Yuddha Kanda, Book VI.
Bhatia , Usha
Indian Painting -- I : An Introduction
Vol. 43 Issue no. 3; March 1992, p. 57-65
This note, the first in a series, outlines the history of Indian miniature painting. A brief account of the origin of miniature painting, which later developed and flourished in royal ateliers under the patronage of Indian rulers, is provided.
Agrawal , O.P.
Preservation of Miniature Paintings
Vol. 44 Issue no. 1; September 1992, p. 77-80
Miniature paintings which are normally done on paper, are probably the most delicate of all art objects, liable to be damaged easily. This note discusses the many preservation techniques of paper miniature paintings. This includes humidity control, proper light levels, and protection from fungi and insects.
Doshi , Saryu
Colour, Motif and Arabesque
Vol. 45 Issue no. 2; December 1993, p. 42-65 [Also in - India and Egypt: Influences and Interactions; Pages - 112-135; Ed. Saryu Doshi]
The article dilineates the Egyptian and Indian traditions in painting, and discusses the parallels between them. The question of Egyptian influence on Indian painting is analysed within the context of stylistic devices and pictorial rendering. Book Illustrations in Mamluk Egypt (Bahari Mamluk, 1250-1390; Burji Mamluk, 1390-1517) reveal an interplay of past traditions from Iraq and Asia. The extant book illustrations of 15th century India were executed for Muslim patrons, and Hindu and Jain clients. Their style, format, and patronage fall into the Western Indian and Sultanate groups. There are parallels in Indian and Mamluk painting in the structuring of the composition, and the treatment of architectural motifs, landscapes, and decorative borders. The Mamluk influence on Indian miniature painting came by way of trade between India and Egypt, and diplomatic channels.
Seyller , John
A Sub-Imperial Mughal Manuscript — The Ramayana of Abd al-Rahim Khankhanan
Manuscript Paintings , Patrons and Patronage , Ramayana, Mughal School of Painting: Ramayana 16th Century , 1597-1617 Washington D.C. ,Jaipur
Losty , Jeremiah P.
Early Bijapuri Musical Paintings
Vol. 35-2, p. 128-131
An Indian manuscript in the British Library’s collections is discussed in detail in this article. The work is in Persian and called Javahir al-Musiqat-i Muhammadi, the title reflecting the dedication of the work to Muhammad Adil Shah of Bijapur (1626-56). It is little a work on Indian music and the mystical experiences brought on by listening to it. It is an interesting example of the synthesis of Muslim and Hindu culture at the Bijapur court in the 16th and 17th centuries. Besides depicting musical modes, this manuscript also illustrates dance-postures.
Das , Asok Kumar
The Imperial Razm Nama and Ramayana of the Emperor Akbar
Vol. 35-2, p. 136-139
The Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, Jaipur possesses 2 magnificent Mughal manuscripts written and illustrated for the personal library of Emperor Akbar — the Razmnama and the Ramayana, Persian versions of the Hindu epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana respectively. In order to spread an awareness of all religions and religious texts, Akbar selected these books to be translated in Persian — the language of the court. The content of the texts and the illustrations show substantial difference between the 2 manuscripts. The miniatures of the Jaipur Razmnama and Ramayana illustrate themes which mirror the splendour and glory of the Mughal court.
Dehejia , Vidya
Paul F. Walter (1935- )
Vol. 37-4 38-1, p. 205-223
The range of art that comprises Paul Walter’s collection certainly reflects the many facets of his personality. His deep and abiding interest in all things Indian, is reflected in his large collection of Indian miniatures and drawings, particularly of Rajput painting, of British India material, and of terracottas. The diversity of his artistic interests combined with a spirit of restlessness constantly keeps him on the look-out for the latest and the finest pieces on the market, and it is this that makes him so outstanding as a collector. While most private collectors in Europe and America have been attracted largely to Mughal paintings, with the exception of Edwin Binney, 3rd, Paul Walter is one of the primary collectors to concentrate on Rajput miniatures.

Facets of Indian Miniature Painting
Vol. 38-3, p. 77-164
There is evidence of wall-paintings in India right from the 1st-2nd century BCE at Ajanta. But the earliest evidence of miniature painting is not to be found till the late 10th century CE in eastern India, in the form of an illustrated palm-leaf manuscript. This article gives an overview of Indian miniature painting from the earliest illustrated manuscripts of the 10th century to the early 19th-century Orissan pothi paintings. A wide range of schools, styles, patrons, paintings, manuscripts, artists, ascriptions, and opinions are discussed. An appendix on the Chunar Ragamala by the writer is included.
Khandalavala , Karl
A Sub-Imperial Akbari Period Razm Nama Of A.D. 1605
Vol. 38-3, p. 165-180
The translation and illustration of the Mahabharata into an abbreviated Persian version during the Mughal period, was commenced in 1582-83 but not completed till 1585-86. While it was being translated it was also being written and illustrated in the imperial atelier. The Persian version was called the Razm nama (The Book of Wars). A few sub-imperial copies were also made by Akbar’s nobles, however, how many nobles did so is uncertain. There is also the uncertain question of how many Sub-Imperial copies were made, and when and with what number of illustrations in the reign of Akbar himself, they were made. One Razm nama copy was made in 1598, another copy or more than one copy, or incomplete copy or copies were made between 1598 and 1605. There is one more copy of the Razm nama that can be ascribed to 1616. A complete copy of 1605 is the subject of the present article, and contains several of the finest miniatures of all the known copies. This copy was acquired by Mr and Mrs B.K.Birla. This article further discusses the Imperial Razm nama and the Sub-Imperial copies in terms of dating, patrons, and artists. An appendix with a list of attributions from the 1605 Razm nama is included.
Doshi , Saryu
School of Bikaner Painting
Vol. 38-3, p. 181-189
This article is an overview of the Bikaner school of painting and gives details of the many rulers that served as patrons for these paintings. Although no miniatures can be attributed to the reign of Rai Singh, around the end of the 16th century, a set of the Bhagavata Purana can be assigned to the reign of Sur Singh, Rai Singh’s younger son and successor. This series consists of charming miniatures painted in the Popular Mughal style — an idiom which appears to have developed outside the imperial, atelier. In the reign of the next ruler, Karan Singh (1631-74), artists were employed to paint for the ruler. Towards the end of the 17th century, the artistic activities at the Bikaner court gathered momentum under the patronage of Karan Singh’s son and successor Anup Singh (1674-98). The artists in the employ of Bikaner rulers belonged to Muslim families who must have migrated to Bikaner as a result of Aurangzeb’s discouraging and disheartening policies towards artistic endeavours. The style practised at Bikaner in the reigns of Karan Singh and Anup Singh was under such pervasive influence of the Mughal style that it could be considered almost a provincial idiom of that style. An appendix lisiting names of some of the artists in the royal atelier in Bikaner is attached.
Khandalavala , Karl
An Unusual Painting of Raja Balwant Singh of Jammu by the Artist Nainsukh
Vol. 38-3, p. 190-192
A group of paintings usually referred to as the “Balwant Singh group” is well known to students of Pahari miniatures. This group is somewhat limited in number and an unusual painting belonging to this group is in the Birla Collections and of interest to the writer. There has been some controversy as to the identity of Balwant Singh, also known as Balwant Dev; the widely accepted viewpoint is that he was the youngest brother of Raja Ranjit Dev of Jammu. However, this view has been contradicted by other scholars including B.N. Goswamy, who believe that Balwant Singh is not a Jammu prince but Mian Balwant Singh of Jasrota. Balwant Singh’s artist was Nainsukh of Guler. The present painting shows Balwant Singh riding a horse and looking around in surprise, as the horse has suddenly halted, to see that his horse has given a vicious kick to a wild boar.
Cimino , Rosa Maria
The “Savonarola” Chair In Mughal Miniatures
Vol. 39-1, p. 97-106
The Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan were keenly interested in European prints and paintings which they collected in large numbers: this interest is corroborated by Indian historians, as well as by the accounts of travellers and missionaries who were in contact with the imperial court. There exist, in addition, numerous prints which belonged to the imperial collections, as well as various imitations and copies of European paintings executed by the imperial atelier. The custom of furnishing the imperial residences with Western art objects is not only mentioned by the missionaries, but illustrated by Indian painters of the period as well. The “Savonarola” chair, a Tuscan original, appears in several Indian miniatures, clearly inspired by Western originals. Several paintings with this chair are discussed in the article.
Devapriam , Emma
Repercussions of the Counter-Reformation on the Works of the Mughal and the Florentine Painters: “Realism” in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries
Vol. 39-1, p. 151-156
This article discusses how the Counter-Reformation movement or the Catholic Reformation was indirectly responsible for introducing “realism” to Mughal painting. The author also believes that the same religious movement was partly responsible for the appearance of realism in much Florentine painting of the same period. Realism in the Mughal miniature was not accidental but was consciously developed—a development which was motivated by the study of European paintings and engravings. There is literary evidence proving the existence of Western art works at the Mughal court at the time of the birth and development of the Mughal school. Several of these European art works were carried by the Jesuits, the “spiritual army” of the Counter-Reformation. The Jesuits had established their order at Goa, and their first mission arrived at the Mughal court in 1580.
Daniels , Vincent
A Preliminary Scientific Investigation of Princes of the house of Timur
Vol. 46-2, p. 97-106
The use of non-destructive X-radiography and ultraviolet (UVA) fluorescence examination yields useful information about the way Indian miniature art came to be painted. Studied at the British Museum in visible reflected light, in visible transmitted light with X-rays, and reflected near UVA, “Princes of the House of Timur” has had its overpainted sections carefully reinterpreted. However, the author cautions that data obtained from this sort of study must be combined with data from other kinds of scientific examination as well as art historical evidence to produce a hypothesis about the painting’s evolution.
Das , Asok Kumar
Daswant: His Last Drawings in the Razmnama
Vol. 49-4, p. 52-67
Daswant played a major role in the illustration of the Razmnama, the Persian translation of the Mahabharata. Composing and drawing as many as 31 full-page miniatures out of its first 125 pictures designed till the time of his tragic end, the subjects chosen by him vary from court and battle scenes to scenes of dramatic action and unusual events. Like his mentor Khwaja ‘Abd us-Samad, Daswant was at ease delineating details and took infinite care in drawing the figures of gods, demi-gods, and principal story characters such as the Kauravas and Pandavas. Some of his works also show definite indications of a familiarity with Western painting technique and idiom.
Ohri , Vishwa Chander
Introduction
Vol. 50-1, p. 1-16 (Map facing page 1)
The guest editor examines in detail the origins and the distinct spirit and idiom of Pahari miniature painting, which flourished in the foothills of the western Himalaya from the 17th to the 19th century. He explains that in the present volume writers have ventured to explore the stylistic content of some Pahari painters despite the fact that their works have been previously studied. Painters have been selected here based on two considerations: first, those artists whose signed works are known or to whom certain works can be reasonably ascribed and second, those to whom important series of paintings are attributed.
Desai , Z. A.
Studies in Indian Art and Culture: Some Avoidable Presumptions and Speculative Theories
Vol. 51 Issue no. 1; September 1999, p. 75-87
Insufficient knowledge of Persian in studying the vast historical sources has led eminent art historians into acts of omission and commission resulting in erroneous conclusions. This article highlights a few avoidable errors resulting from faulty and incomplete decipherment and translation of Persian inscriptions in the form of signatures, endorsements, legends, seals, inscriptions and colophons of manuscripts in the catalogue of the exhibition “India!”
Narayanan , Rama
Portrait of Muktambal, Swordwife of Sarfoji II
Vol. 51 Issue no. 3; March 2000, p. 75-77
The article studies a portrait in the British Museum, London, probably of Muktambal the “swordwife” (a concubine given legitimacy through a marriage ritual called kadga vivaha) of Sarfoji II of Tanjavur . She concludes that the portrait was painted by an artist trained in the Mughal miniature tradition.
Goswamy , B.N.
Painting in Kutch: Surprises and Delight
Vol. 51-4, p. 94-105
Rao Lakhpatji (1741-60) played a pivotal role in the growth and development of painting in Kutch. Paintings in Kutch belong to two groups: the sub-royal paintings of darbar scenes, processionals, miniatures, and portraits, all with an element of formality; and the landscape paintings which are invested with so much warmth. The later group was influenced by the European prints and engravings which came into Kutch through the sailor and craftsman Ramsingh Malam in the second quarter of the 18th century. Initially the European prints led to copies of the European cityscapes, later, the landscapes included views of the towns and topography of the region itself.

Categories: Indian Art Tags:
Comments are closed.