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Indian artwork has at all times been acknowledged with reverence and curiosity. It has been used as a way to depict festivals, tradition, faith and completely different points of every day life because the Indus Valley civilization. Not solely has it been a supply of creative pleasure, however these work are additionally historic paperwork that document the every day lives of individuals from a sure period—their clothes, tradition, rituals, structure, meals and far more. There are a number of forms of Indian artwork that one can acquaint themselves with, starting from Madhubani and Pattachitra to Mughal and Rajasthani miniature artwork.

The historical past of Indian artwork has been documented by many, however on this article, we’ll be touching upon a barely completely different angle—what are the attention-grabbing details about conventional indian artwork?


The historical past of Indian artwork isn’t restricted to mere decorations. Since historical occasions, mankind has been utilizing artwork to doc tradition and actions of every day life—be it as hieroglyphics on cave partitions or murals. The earliest type of artwork advanced via Bhittichitra—wall artwork. To know what’s Indian conventional portray all about, it’s necessary that we take a look at the origin of every artwork type. Completely different forms of conventional Indian artwork have completely different histories.

Madhubani artwork is claimed to have originated about 2500 years in the past when Raja Janak requested the townsfolk of Mithila to brighten the town partitions to commemorate Lord Rama and Sita’s wedding ceremony. This created a tradition of portray home partitions, manufactured from mud, with shiny colors and auspicious symbols. Equally, Warli work have been initially made on brown mud partitions with geometric shapes painted in white. Nevertheless, by the Seventies, that they had shifted in the direction of paper canvases. 

Pichwai artwork will get its identify from its origin. It was historically used to brighten the wall behind the deities at Rajasthan’s Nathdwara temple. You might have heard of Raghurajpur and its residents who earn a dwelling solely by promoting Pattachitra work. Like Pichwai, additionally they had a spiritual function as they have been used to switch the principal deities of Jagannath temple for a 15-day interval. In Bengal, Pattachitra artwork condensed right into a much less complicated artwork type—Kalighat artwork, with fewer, but distinguished characters.


Now that you just’re conscious of the historical past of Indian artwork, it’s straightforward to know that this wasn’t an period of synthetic paints and plastic brushes. One of the crucial attention-grabbing details about conventional Indian artwork is that it isn’t marred by synthetic components. Artists had no different selection however to stay to natural components, and the outcomes have been mesmerizing! From extracting colors from leaves and rocks, to creating brushes out of animal hair, the historical past of Indian artwork is incomplete with out speaking concerning the instruments used to create these legendary artwork types. So, the subsequent time somebody asks you, “what are the attention-grabbing details about conventional indian artwork,” you’ll have your reply prepared

To create the canvas for a Pattachitra portray, artists used cotton sarees coated with a paste of soaked tamarind and clay powder. As soon as ignored to dry underneath the solar, it created a sturdy canvas for the chitrakar to color on. The deal with for paint brushes was made with bamboo whereas the comb bristles have been made with Goat, Squirrel, Horse, Buffalo, Calf and Mouse hair.

The supply for paints provides you with insights to a number of the most attention-grabbing details about conventional Indian artwork. Pattachitra artists used the gum of Wooden Apple (Kaitha) tree as a base for creating completely different colors. Black color was made with lamp soot, white from powdered conch shells, orange from the Gerua stone, inexperienced from Hyacinth leaves, pink from the Hingula rock and violet from Blackberries. Madhubani artists are believed to have derived yellow color by including turmeric to the milk of Banyan leaves. One of the crucial fascinating details about conventional Indian artwork is {that a} Madhubani portray was historically made on a canvas created with multanimitti, neem juice and cow dung.

Social operate of artwork

When you’re eager about what arethe attention-grabbing details about conventional Indian artwork, historical past isn’t the one side on the checklist. Genres like Madhubani artwork, Pattachitra artwork, Pichwai artwork, Mughal Artwork and Rajasthani artwork proceed to stay related as a result of their material has advanced together with time. As immersive because the historical past of Indian artwork could also be, to remain related, one has to remain up to date with present social points. For example, in a bid to guard a 5 kilometre lengthy inexperienced patch in Bihar, Madhubani artists painted tree trunks with pictures of deities and non secular symbols to forestall them from being reduce down. A number of Madhubani work have garnered worldwide fame as a consequence of their therapy of social points like girls’s rights, and so forth.

Within the struggle in opposition to coronavirus, completely different forms of Indian conventional artwork have additionally stepped forth to make an affect with trendy depictions displaying mask-clad figures wearing conventional apparel on a canvas of Phad work or Pattachitra artwork. Whereas the historical past of Indian artwork has made it what it’s in the present day, these trendy improvements are what is going to hold these artwork types alive for generations to return.

Narrative and Performative historical past

Pattachitra art

One of the crucial necessary details about conventional Indian artwork is that almost all artwork types have had a story or performative historical past. Be it cave work that narrated the tales of a era or an elaboratePattachitra portray narrating people tales, the historical past of Indian artwork has been riddled with telling tales.

In keeping with historic data, Pattachitra artwork started as a occupation relationship again to the tenth and eleventh century A.D. Scroll painters, also called Patuas, could be invited by rich households to recite folktales. They’d carry alongside hand printed scrolls, which depicted mythological tales. The Patuas would narrate these tales, supplemented by songs and hand gestures. Kerala additionally has a specialty in the case of performative forms of conventional Indian artwork. In Kalampattu, elaborate pictures are drawn on the ground utilizing 5 colors, adopted by an auspicious efficiency.

Modernization of Indian Artwork

When you ask somebody, “What’s Indian conventional portray?,” they’ll in all probability present you an elaborate canvas of intricate artworks. Nevertheless, neither does everybody have the house for these large artworks, nor are they fascinated with an art work full of the identical tales and symbols as others. The historical past of Indian artwork has set sure themes and motifs to precise an concept or emotion, however who has stopped us from innovating then into one thing that fits trendy palates?

Varied forms of conventional Indian artwork have discovered expression past temple partitions and ornate canvases. Whereas Raghurajpur could also be dwelling to the standard patta portray, residents additionally promote trinkets within the type of stone carvings, palm leaf pattachitra engravings, coconut shell carving, and so forth. These small scale renditions of Pattachitra artwork are extra accessible and simpler to retailer and use, since they don’t take up a variety of house to be displayed. Right this moment, Pichwai artwork is now not restricted to temple partitions and adorns the partitions of houses and workplaces. You can even discover them on cushion covers, coasters, carpets, and so forth. The historically elaborate Pichwai portrait canvas could have been scaled down, however this doesn’t diminish the great thing about this artwork type in any respect.

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