Rajasthan, a state of great intriguing history, exuberant culture, and captivating arts, presents a perfect source for the art of frescoes. Though the art is present in almost all the districts of Rajasthan, Shekhawati, as a region, has earned distinct recognition in the field. Home to more than two thousand historical buildings, the region demonstrates some of the best frescoes of Rajasthan.
Shekhawati is the former land of the rich merchants of Rajasthan, more famously known as the Marwaris. These merchants have explored the lands nearby and had mastered the science of export trade. It made them rich and had put a lot of resources at their disposal. To further expand their businesses, most Marwaris went further away from their homeland, leaving their palaces like homes- havelis unaccomodated.
Though without the original residents, the havelis were well-maintained by them. In fact, these havelis looked nothing like the abandoned houses. After all, the Marwaris, always the patrons of art, had their homes embellished with unique awe-inspiring frescoes, an art that neither time nor scavengers can take away.
Most of these frescoed mansions are the property from eighteenth and nineteenth century, which further improves their charm, turning them into fascinating representatives of past prosperous times the state had witnessed.
The frescoes in Shekhawati region were, just alike the other frescoes around the globe, story depicting images painted on the ceilings and walls of highly elaborated courtyards and halls. The distinct feature of Shekhawati frescoes is the amalgamation of Jaipur and Mughal schools of paintings, which give them a distinct touch of Persian frescoes, without making them completely likewise.
Most prominent frescoes of Shekhawati belong to the temples established there. However, the single most famous specimen is the mansion or haveli of the Podars of Mahansar. A ‘T’ shaped hall of the haveli has gilded and mirrored ceilings in it, that create brilliant shine around the elaborately painted frescoes in the room. The hall is believed to be the showroom for jewelries, a fact that easily explains the great embellishments of the same.
Though these frescoes are found in abundance in the places associated with exuberance, it would be entirely wrong to limit their presence only to them. The most remarkable frecoes, and perhaps the earliest too, is found on the cenotaph Maharao Shardul Singh of Parasampura.True, art knows no limits, and definitely not in this state of colorful culture.