History of
Indian Crafts
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Indian Crafts >> Painting
Painting
Indian Crafts - Painting
History of Painting

This art blossomed during the reign of Jehangir. During those days flora and fauna and imbibing natural beauty was mainly depicted in a realistic fashion on an ivory base. Miniature paintings took their inspiration from the magnificent court-life. The pomp and splendour of the durbars, hunting scenes, battles and portraits of royalty were exquisitely executed. During the reign of Jehangir; flowers, plant life, birds and animals and the beauty of nature were all superbly painted with intense feeling, brilliant colours and an enchanting realism.The themes have continued to be same at Lucknow. Krishna and other themes from Hindu mythology are depicted in miniatures from Mathura, Varanasi and Vrindavan

Over the centuries, wall paintings seem to have retained their vitality, creativity penury and social ordeals which continues to express itself in vivid forms with an uplifting quality. The tradition of painting the walls of houses with scenes from mythological and chivalric tales has been prevalent in Rajasthan for the past many centuries.

Througout different period of history, we find a definite established tradition of painting on various objects, particularly the floors, walls and on objects of everyday use. The origin of painting is traced to a moving legend recorded in the Chitralakshana - the earliest Indian treatise on painting.

The paintings on the walls have deeper themes, also narratives, for they are the stories being told sometimes in a series of panels. Apart from their decorative purpose, they also constitute a form of visual education like picture books from which one learns of ones heritage. Some outstanding ones are done in the Madhubani area. Over the centuries, Madhubani seem to have retained their vitality creativity, penury and social ordeals not with standing, which continues to express itself in vivid forms with an uplifting quality. They have a naivety and simplicity which perhaps is their attraction, that both soothes and pleases the eyes.

This is a traditional craft practised from Mughal times. This art blossomed during the reign of Jehangir. During those days Flora and Fauna and imbibing natural beauty was mainly depicted in a realistic fashion on an ivory base. Miniature paintings took their inspiration from the magnificent court life.

A definite established tradition of painting on various object are found, particularly on the floors, walls and on intimate objects of everyday use, and in almost every instance the act being associated with some ritual.
Fine Art
The paintings depict sheer imagination of a painter and the meticulous flow of his brush. With the aid of these natural colours and a brush, the painter generally portrays exotic court life, pomp and splendour of durbars, hunting scenes, battle etc.

The themes of the painting are from epics and heroic Rajput tales. Usually at every entrance the conventional dwarpalakas (guardians of the door), are shown on the walls on either side. The popular Ganghor festival, when Shiv (Ishwar) and Parvati are worshipped, has an honoured place in the wall ensembles.

The paintings, based on local festivals like Karwa Chauth, Deepawali, Ahoi Ashtami, Nag Panchmi, Sanjhi etc. are usually done by women using simple homemade colours.Chattisgarh, is also the home of the art of tattoo, which is done by women of Badi Community. The tattoopatterns are complex and beautiful and have immense potential of being further modified and incorporated into designer prints. The Bhils and Bhilala tribes of Madhya Pradesh paint myths related to creation called pithora paintings. Horses, elephants, tigers, birds, gods, men and objects of daily life are painted in bright multicoloured hues. The Malwa, Nimar and Tanwarghar regions of Madhya Pradesh are known for their Mandana Wall and floor painting traditions. Peacocks, Cats, lions, goojari, bawari, swastik and Chowk are some & motifs of this style.

The upper-caste Kayasth women paint the walls of the nuptial chamber or kohbar - ghar, the verandah outside it, as well as the gosauni -ka-ghar, or room of the family deity, in earth and vegetable pigments in myriad sacred symbols and designs. Many of these paintings narrate myths and legends, especially scenes from the epic Ramayana. Other provide valuable glimpses of everyday life. The commonest of these in the gosauni-ka-ghar are the Harisauna puja ka citra and the sarovaracitra family pool which includes different kinds of fish, turtle etc.

The paintings depict sheer imagination of a painter and the meticulous flow of his brush. With the aid of these natural colours and a brush, the painter generally portrays exotic court life, pomp and splendour of durbars, hunting scenes, battle etc.

Decoration the walls and panels of the gompas (temples) and kakaling (gates) with beautiful religious paintings mostly depicts the life of Lord Buddha. Tankhas, painted wooden articles and masks are widely used by the people. The designs are symbolic and common.
Procedure
Master craftsman uses his paintbrush to create imaginary scenes. He dips his brush into colour and flows over antique parchment to give life to the form. Vegetables, minerals, semi precious stone, gold and silver leaf are crushed according to the depth of the shade require. The basic material has changed from ivory to paper but the technique, craft and style has remained an intrinsic part of the craftsman existence.

Rajasthan paintings are generally made at festivals and special occasions like marriages. The worship of sanjhi image is made on the wall after it has been neatly plastered with a kind of clay applique technique by fixing star-shaped pieces of clay. These are first painted white then given touches of orange, blue and yellow to make the Devi a rich ensemble colourful mosaic. The body itself is richly decorated with ornaments deftly made of lime stone and clay, topped by gay feathers, mirrors, stars and spangles or any shiny objects, for embellishment.The entire composition is done with a free hand without drawing lines or measuring, nevertheless, its relationship to the size of the wall is remarkable, balanced and the colours harmoniously blended.

Painting is usually done by a caste of professional painters called chitras in Bundelkhand. In the paintings of Chattisgarh, mud plaster base is used, over which linear patterns are etched with fingers this process is called Lipai. The women of the Rajwar community are specialists in Lipai. For wall and floor paintings red clay and cow dung mixture is used as base material to plaster the surface against which white drawings stand out in contrast.

Painting on the wall is a communal act done by all the women of a family or group. These patterns are carefully preserved and succeeding generation of girls continue the tradition. The Brahmin paintings have a delicate meandering line which encloses spots of brilliant tints. The colours seem supreme, each spot a concentration of energy to provide the heart core, the pulse and the tempo of the theme. The figures are transformed into fantastic looking vegetable forms or geometric patterns which float amidst flowers, animals and birds. While the Kayastha community employs fewer colours, ochre, subdued brown, black and sometimes dull blood red .They rely on lines that are firm and confident, enlivened with hatching and spotting. The energy filled figures, usually set in panels and ranged in long processions round the wall, are lively and full of movement.Two characteristics mark paintings: one, a device to create a sense of vastness by placing tiny figures in just a position with large ones, the other is to show the lively ones are current, the frozen ones belong to the past.

Master craftsman sits at his table and uses his paintbrush to create imaginary scenes. He dips his brush into colour and flows over antique parchment to give life .minerals, semi precious stone, gold and silver leaf are crushed according to the depth of the shade require.

For painting, the brush, normally the hand itself serves, the tips, fist, palm are brought into play. Thin sticks wounded with a rag or cotton are used where they are necessary. While simple designs can make do for ordinary days, and large sized elaborate ones are prepared on all ceremonial occasions.
Resources
Basic Material : Paper, fabric.
Colouring Material : Colour are derived from vegetables, minerals, semi-precious stones, gold and silver leaf, crushed to bring out the depth of the hues.

Basic Material : Clay.
Decorative Material : feathers, mirrors, stars and spangles, shiny objects.
Colouring Material : colours.

Basic Material : Home-made colours, mud plaster, red clay, cow dung mixture

Basic Material : Earth and vegetable pigments, natural colours, bamboo sticks wrapped in cotton
Colouring Material : Indigenous colours

Basic Material : Ingredients of colour derived from vegetables, minerals semi-precious stones, crushed gold and silver leaves

Basic Material : Rice paste, wheat flour, earth and vegetable dyes are used for colours, thin sticks wounded with a rag or cotton
Equipments
Paintbrush









Artifacts
Miniature in several sizes.

Wall Painting.

Wall paintings

Madhubani painting

miniatures in several sizes, trinket boxes, pendants, cuff links

walls and panels of gompas temples and kakaling gates, tankhas painted wooden articles

Indian Crafts : History of Painting