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Miniature Paintings

A brief history of the miniature paintings in Rajasthan!

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Radha Krishna Miniature Painting

Radha Krishna Miniature Painting

Rajasthani Painting Jodhpur school of Painting

Rajasthani Painting Jodhpur school of Painting

Mewar Miniature painting

Mewar Miniature painting

The Mughals brought the art of Miniature painting to the land of India from Persia. The Mughal ruler Humayun brought the specialists of miniature painting from Persia.

An atelier was built by the succeeding Mughal Emperor, Akbar to promote the rich art form. These Persian artists then trained the Indian artists who produced the paintings, inspired by the lavish and romantic lives of the Mughals, in a new distinctive style. Indian artist also produced few miniature paintings in their own unique style which is now known as Rajput or Rajasthani Miniature.

The Indian artists who didn't make the required grade were shifted back to their respective family homes. However, they carried the Mughal painting traits while returning from the Mughal Imperial atelier. Several painting schools such as Mewar (Udaipur), Kota, Bundi, Marwar (Jodhpur), Jaipur, Bikaner, and Kishangarh have emerged during the time. The early Rajasthani and Pahari paintings were highly influenced by the Mughal style. The early Mewar paintings are evidence of the formative style of Rajasthani School of painting at the end of the 16th century.

Apart from Mewar, several other states of Rajasthan like Jaipur, Kishangarh, Bundi, Kota, and Bikaner developed their own distinctive styles of painting. The Rajasthani miniature paintings grew rapidly under the local painters. However, they all were commonly influenced by the Mughal style yet very different in idiosyncrasy and perspective. The difference was a result of the lyrical approach of Rajasthani artists who derive more pleasure by using pure lines and colors.

The inclusion of the variety of Hindu deities as the main topic of the Rajput painting began the departure from Mughal influence. Few examples of such type of Rajasthani Miniature paintings can be seen in the collection of the folios of Rasikapriya. The collection depicts the melodic nature of these paintings glorifying the romantic love of Radha and Krishna. The cult of Srinath Ji exemplified in few paintings of the Nathdwara School also complemented the delight of the collection.

Albert Hall Museum in Jaipur houses a classic collection of Miniature paintings depicting Krishna Avtar Charitra, Panchatantra (Panch Aakhyan), Rasik Priya, Bhagavata Gita, Geet Govind and various others.


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