History of Indian Paintings: All that you need to know - Oliveboard (2022)

Today government jobs are in demand due to the stature, prestige, and numerous benefits that come along. More and more people these days are opting for Govt. exams with the aim of getting into the banking sector, or other Govt. departments, ministries and organizations. However, to get there, you need to crack the online entrance examination. The exam is conducted in different stages and the syllabus covers ancient as well as contemporary topics. If you are appearing for the SSC CGL exam, then one important section of your paper will be ‘Indian History’. Knowing about the history of Indian culture can help you score good marks in the examination, which is why we have compiled a list that talks about the history of Indian paintings.

Table of Contents

  • History of Indian Paintings
  • Conclusion
  • Ebooks

History of Indian Paintings

Indian paintings offer an aesthetic continuum, which extends from early civilization to the present day. Initially depicting religious beliefs and values, Indian paintings have now evolved to become a synthesis of diverse traditions and cultures. Here is a list of paintings that have been the epitome of Indian culture and history since decades

1. Murals

The history of Indian Murals dates back to the early medieval and ancient times (2nd Century B.C. to 10th Century A.D.). All over India, over 20 locations boast of mural paintings, which depict themes of Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist religions. These paintings are found mainly in the form of natural rock-cuts and carvings, in caves of Bagh, Ajanta, Ellora (Kailashnath Temple), Sittanavasal, and Armamalai.

2. Paintings in Eastern India

The miniatures paintings of Eastern India developed in the 10th Century. These depict scenes from Lord Buddha’s life and His divinity, painted on palm leaves and wooden covers. The earliest Buddhist manuscript still in existence is the Astasahasrika Prajnaparamita, which is currently under the possession of The Asiatic Society, in Kolkata. The influence of miniature paintings of Eastern India is evident in the Buddhist temples of Myanmar and Tibet.

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3. Miniature Paintings in Western India

Western miniature paintings are beautiful, colourful handmade paintings. The main attraction of these paintings is the delicate, intricate brushwork, which enhances the detailing and provides a unique identity. Many of these paintings are from folk literature and Sanskrit. Some of the miniatures are from the Hindu Vaishnav sect, while others are from the Jain sect. The Vaishnav sect paintings depict various occasions from Lord Krishna’s life.

4. Jaunpur, Malwa, and Deccan Schools of Painting

During the rule of Nasir Shah, between 1500A.D. and 1510 A.D., the Nimatnama manuscript, painted in Mandu, set a new trend in illustration of manuscripts. This represents a fusion of the patronized and indigenous Persian style, although the former dominated the Mandu manuscripts. Lodi Khuladar, another style of painting, developed in the Sultanate’s reign, stretching from Delhi to Jaunpur. The miniature paintings, which initially thrived in the court of Bahmani and later in the Golkanda, Bijapur, and Ahmadnagar courts, are known as the Deccan School of Painting.

5. Mughal Paintings

Mughal painting is a precise form of Indian painting, usually limited to book illustrations and miniatures, which developed, emerged, and evolved during the era of the Mughals (16th Century to 19th Century). Mughal paintings have a unique blend of Persian, Islamic, and Hindu styles. The paintings depict the Mughal Emperors’ life events- conquests and marriages. Akbar’s reign saw the origin of the Mughal School of Miniature Paintings, the first production of which was the Hamzanama series. Later, Jahangir encouraged court artists to paint durbar scenes and portraits. After that, Shah Jahan continued the tradition of miniature paintings.

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6. Rajput Paintings

One of the most aesthetic styles of painting in India, the Rajput paintings flourished and evolved in the royal courts of Rajputana, during the 18th Century. Each of the Rajput kingdoms had a unique style, but with a few common traits. The paintings depict events and themes of the two Indian epics- Mahabharata and Ramayana. They portray the life of Lord Krishna and beautiful landscapes.

7. Mysore Paintings

Mysore paintings, known for its muted colours, elegance, and attention to detail, originated in Mysore in South India. The main theme of these paintings is Hindu Goddesses and Gods, and mythological scenes. Today, these paintings have become a souvenir during festivals in South India.

8. Tanjore Paintings

Another important form of traditional South Indian paintings, Tanjore paintings are native to Tanjore, a town in Tamil Nadu. This form of painting goes back to the early 9th Century, during the reign of the Cholas. These paintings are popular for their intricate detailing and rich colours. Similar to the Mysore paintings, the main theme of these paintings centres on Hindu mythology and Gods-Goddesses.

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9. Kangra Paintings

This style of painting originated in the early 18th Century in the pre-colonial hill state of Guler, in Himachal Pradesh. The Kangra paintings reached its high point during the rule of Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch.

10. Madhubani Paintings

Madhubani painting style was practised in Mithila (Bihar). These paintings depict images of Gods and Goddesses, Hindu mythology, royal court scenes, and royal weddings. One interesting fact about these paintings is that all the gaps are filled in and no space is left unoccupied. Usually, the gaps are filled with drawings of geometric designs, floral images, images of birds, and animals.

11. Pattachitra

Pattachitra is the traditional paintings of Eastern India, specifically West Bengal and Odisha. In Sanskrit, ‘Patta’ means clothing or vastra, and ‘Chitra’ means painting. The Bengal Pattachitra is categorized into various aspects like Chalchitra, Durga Pat, Tribal Patachitra, etc. The name given to the artist of the Bengal region is Patua. The Odisha Pattachitra tradition is linked closely with the reverence of Lord Jagannath (an incarnation of Lord Vishnu). The theme of these paintings centres around the Vaishnav sect. The subject matter is mostly folklore, religious stories, and mythology.

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12. Modern Art and Paintings

Western influences made an impact on Indian art during the colonial period. Some artists used the Western ideas of realism, perspective, and composition to illustrate Indian themes. Other eminent artists like Jamini Roy and Manishi Dey drew inspiration from folk art.

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Conclusion

These are some of the most eminent styles of Indian paintings. Moreover, this is an important part of your SSC CGL exam syllabus. Knowing all about it can help you with your competitive exam preparation.

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History of Indian Paintings: All that you need to know - Oliveboard (6)

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FAQs

What is the history of Indian art? ›

The origin of Indian art can be traced to prehistoric settlements in the 3rd millennium BCE. On its way to modern times, Indian art has had cultural influences, as well as religious influences such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam.

What is the oldest Indian art? ›

The oldest Indian paintings are rock art in caves which are around 30,000 years old, such as the Bhimbetka cave paintings.

What is Indian artwork called? ›

Pattachitra or Patachitra, another traditional art form of India, is a common term for contemporary, cloth-based scroll painting based in the East Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal. The name Pattachitra is adapted from the Sanskrit language, patta, implying canvas, and Chitra, meaning image.

Who is the first Indian painting? ›

Ancient Period

The oldest examples are the Bhimbetka petroglyphs found in central India and believed to be at least 290,000 years old. Rock art continued to be created as cave paintings, representing animals and humans. The oldest examples of these paintings date from about 7000 BCE.

What are the 4 periods of Indian art? ›

The history of Indian art is exceptionally long and superbly impressive. It can be divided into four main periods: pre-historic, ancient, the era of Islamic ascendancy – or the medieval period – and art from the colonial times.

Who is the father of Indian art? ›

By India Today Web Desk: Raja Ravi Varma, also known as 'The Father of Modern Indian Art' was an Indian painter of the 18th century who attained fame and recognition for portraying scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

How many types of Indian painting are there? ›

Indian Artistry: 10 Distinct Types of Paintings In India.

What is unique about Indian art? ›

Each region of India offered its own distinct style of art. Religious motifs are some of the most common subject matter, often featuring mythological human and animal forms as well as elaborate ornamentation. The three most prevalent art forms to span India's history are painting, architecture, and sculpture.

What are the 5 types of traditional arts? ›

Traditional categories within the arts include literature (including poetry, drama, story, and so on), the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), the graphic arts (painting, drawing, design, and other forms expressed on flat surfaces), the plastic arts (sculpture, modeling), the decorative arts (enamelwork, ...

What are the 3 types of art? ›

The three fine arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture are sometimes also called the “major arts”, with “minor arts” referring to commercial or decorative art styles. Architecture is the only form of fine visual art with a sense of utility or elements of practicality.

What are the two main divisions of Indian painting? ›

There are two main types of painting in India: Large-scale painting and miniature painting. Miniature: Very popular during the Mughal Period, these types of paintings were used for many different purposes.

Who introduced painting in India? ›

From the 13th century onwards the Turkish sultans of Northern India brought with them important features of Persian court culture. In The 15th and 16th centuries illustrated manuscripts of persian influence were produced at Malwa, Bengal , Delhi, Jainpur, Gujarat and The Deccan.

Who is the famous painter of India? ›

Raja Ravi Varma is considered one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian art; and he is the most famous Indian artist.

Who has written Indian art? ›

Indian Art by Partha Mitter

The book mainly deals with the history of Art from about 5000 years ago. Indian Art explores the evolution of Indian Art and its many influences, which contributed to its transformation as a powerful medium of representation. This is one of the most revolutionary books on Indian Art.

What is ancient Indian art best known for? ›

Religious motifs are among the most popular, with legendary animal and human figures as well as rich decoration. Sculpture and paintings by Indian artists have been the most prominent art forms throughout India's history, as well as their magnificent architecture.

When did art start in India? ›

Indian art is considered to have originated during the peak of the Indus Valley Civilization, somewhere around 2500 BC. Indian paintings during the time were often inspired by spirituality and sensuality, making it stand out in terms of content and aesthetics, an aspect that is appreciated even today.

What is culture in art? ›

Cultural arts, such as music, art, drama, creative writing, photography and dance, are tools that help develop the mind and body, refine feelings, and thoughts and reflect and represent our customs and values as a society. Cultural arts help to explain the world in which we live through an exploration of creativity.

What is the purpose of Indian art? ›

One of the many purposes of art was to spread the word around about the king and glorify his deeds. Good art symbolized the prosperity of many an empire in ancient India. Most of the art was produced to promote religious activities. Most Hindu kings were well-wishers of Brahmin community.

Who first discovered art? ›

The earliest undisputed art originated with the Homo sapiens Aurignacian archaeological culture in the Upper Paleolithic. However, there is some evidence that the preference for the aesthetic emerged in the Middle Paleolithic, from 100,000 to 50,000 years ago.

Who started Modern art in India? ›

The fact that modernism as an art movement came to India when it was still a British colony is hard to deny. This is clear when we turn to artists like Gaganendranath, Amrita Sher-Gil and Jamini Roy, who began to be considered as modern during as early as 1930s.

Who gave face to Indian gods? ›

A prolific artist, Raja Ravi Varma is believed to have made around 7,000 paintings before his death at the age of 58. April 29 is the birth anniversary of the famed Indian painter Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906), remembered for giving Indians their western, classical representations of Hindu gods and goddesses.

Which Indian state is famous for painting? ›

Madhubani art or Mithila Art is famous folk painting of mithila region which includes north of Bihar and eastern terai regions of Nepal as well. These paintings depict the social as well as cultural identity with depictions on themes like religion, love and fertility and many more.

What type of paintings sell best in India? ›

Indian Paintings
  • Rural, Village Paintings.
  • Rajasthan, Rajasthani Paintings.
  • Traditional, Ethnic, Folk, Tribal Paintings.
  • Temples, Forts, Monuments Paintings.

What are ancient Indian paintings called? ›

Pattachitra. This folk art of India is sourced from the region of Odisha. Themes of Pattachitra paintings were basically the depiction of mythological and religious epics such as Mahabharata and Ramayana. The term Pattachitra comes from two words; Patta that means leaf and Chitra that refers to painting.

What is Indian traditional art? ›

Indian Folk Art is a body of art form that originated and/or developed in India. Some of the forms are rock paintings, textiles, sculptures and other a diverse range of surface paintings made by various tribal and cultural groups for religious or social reasons.

How modern trends is began in Indian painting? ›

The modern Indian art movement in Indian painting is considered to have begun in Calcutta in the late nineteenth century. The old traditions of painting had more or less died out in Bengal and new schools of art were started by the British.

What is the visual art of India? ›

Some examples are the painting traditions represented by Madhubani, Kalamkari and Phad; the bidri work of Hyderabad; the inlay work using precious and semi-precious stones that is represented so superbly in the Taj Mahal; the colourful Jaipur pottery; the complex designs and motifs in Indian textiles; and many other ...

What is traditional art called? ›

Folk art covers all forms of visual art made in the context of folk culture. Definitions vary, but generally the objects have practical utility of some kind, rather than being exclusively decorative.

What are the 6 traditional arts? ›

History
  • Rites (禮)
  • Music (樂)
  • Archery (射)
  • Chariotry or Equestrianism (御)
  • Calligraphy (書)
  • Mathematics (數)

What are 3 examples of traditional art? ›

Puppetry and storytelling are examples of traditional performance art. Crafts cover a wide range — from stone building to pottery, basket making, quilling, bead work, wood carving and more. Traditional arts often represent a place or a group of people.

Which type of art is most expensive? ›

The most expensive calligraphy was sold at a staggering US$64 million. In performance art, the voice, body, and inanimate objects are used to convey artistic expressions. Performance art is still practiced and widely appreciated by its fans.

What are the basics of painting? ›

This is where the fundamentals of art come into play – color, value, composition, edges, brushwork and technique. These are what I consider to be the core pillars of painting.

What are the 4 main categories of art styles? ›

In this website, we'll explore four of the main styles that I work in: photorealism, abstract, whimsical, and composite (combined styles). In time, I will add more information about other artistic styles, but for now we'll focus on the four styles that I am most familiar with, in both theory and practice.

What are the 7 Fine Arts? ›

However, today contemporary fine art is more than just painting and is defined by 7 fine art disciplines: painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry, music, literature, and dance.

What are the 5 visual arts? ›

Visual Arts - Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, Photography, Sculpture.

Why is it called art? ›

Etymology. The term “art” is related to the Latin word “ars” meaning, art, skill, or craft. The first known use of the word comes from 13th-century manuscripts. However, the word art and its many variants (artem, eart, etc.) have probably existed since the founding of Rome.

What are the six limbs of Indian painting? ›

This Shloka enumerates the six limbs of Indian Art- Rupa-bheda (secrets of form), pramanani (proportion), bhava (emotional disposition), lavanya-yojanam (gracefulness in composition), sadrisyam (('similitude')and varnika-bhanga (colour differentiation).

How many types of painting are there? ›

There are more than 75 types of painting styles in art today since the beginning of art history.

Who is known as father of painting? ›

Pablo Picasso
Died8 April 1973 (aged 91) Mougins, France
Resting placeChâteau of Vauvenargues43.554142°N 5.604438°E
EducationJosé Ruiz y Blasco (father) Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
Known forPainting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, stage design, writing
15 more rows

What is the history of painting? ›

The oldest known painting is approximately 40,000 years old, and early examples of painting by Neanderthal and prehistoric humans have been found all over the world. Painted using red ochre and black pigment, they usually depict common animals that were hunted, such as horses, rhinos and lions.

What is the earliest painting? ›

Archaeologists believe they have discovered the world's oldest-known representational artwork: three wild pigs painted deep in a limestone cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi at least 45,500 years ago. The ancient images, revealed this week in the journal Science Advances, were found in Leang Tedongnge cave.

Who is the most famous Indian female painter? ›

Amrita Sher-gil

No conversation on Indian Modern Art is complete without the mention of Amrita Shergil. The nation's most celebrated woman artist, she is popularly referred to as India's Frida Kahlo.

Who is the best 2022 painter of India? ›

Indian artist Saba Hasan wins Pollock Grant 2022.

Who is India's biggest artist? ›

Raja Ravi Varma is considered one of the greatest painters in the history of art; and he is the most famous Indian artist.

What is the meaning of Indian art? ›

Indian art is a term used in art history to group and study the different artistic expressions created in the historical regions of the Indian subcontinent, including modern-day India, Bangladesh, and areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It covers several art forms, historical periods, and influences.

Who is the father of Indian art? ›

By India Today Web Desk: Raja Ravi Varma, also known as 'The Father of Modern Indian Art' was an Indian painter of the 18th century who attained fame and recognition for portraying scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana.

What is the purpose of Indian art? ›

One of the many purposes of art was to spread the word around about the king and glorify his deeds. Good art symbolized the prosperity of many an empire in ancient India. Most of the art was produced to promote religious activities. Most Hindu kings were well-wishers of Brahmin community.

What is unique about Indian art? ›

Each region of India offered its own distinct style of art. Religious motifs are some of the most common subject matter, often featuring mythological human and animal forms as well as elaborate ornamentation. The three most prevalent art forms to span India's history are painting, architecture, and sculpture.

How many types of art are there in India? ›

India is home to over 50 traditional folk and tribal arts. These Indian folk arts have been passed down from generation to generation for more than 3000 years.

Who is the best painter in India? ›

Raja Ravi Varma is considered one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian art; and he is the most famous Indian artist.

Who first discovered art? ›

The earliest undisputed art originated with the Homo sapiens Aurignacian archaeological culture in the Upper Paleolithic. However, there is some evidence that the preference for the aesthetic emerged in the Middle Paleolithic, from 100,000 to 50,000 years ago.

Who is the most famous Indian artist? ›

You can help by adding missing items with reliable sources.
  • Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941)
  • Raja Ravi Varma (1848–1906)
  • S. G. Thakur Singh (1899–1976)
  • Satyajit Ray (1921-1992)
  • Silpi (1919–1983)
  • Benode Behari Mukherjee (1904–1980)
  • Gaganendranath Tagore (1867–1938)
  • Sunil Das (1939–2015)

What is India's art and culture? ›

India has one of the world's largest collections of songs, music, dance, theatre, folk traditions, performing arts, rites and rituals, paintings and writings that are known, as the 'Intangible Cultural Heritage' (ICH) of humanity.

What is the visual art of India? ›

Some examples are the painting traditions represented by Madhubani, Kalamkari and Phad; the bidri work of Hyderabad; the inlay work using precious and semi-precious stones that is represented so superbly in the Taj Mahal; the colourful Jaipur pottery; the complex designs and motifs in Indian textiles; and many other ...

How modern trends is began in Indian painting? ›

The modern Indian art movement in Indian painting is considered to have begun in Calcutta in the late nineteenth century. The old traditions of painting had more or less died out in Bengal and new schools of art were started by the British.

What are the 5 types of traditional arts? ›

Traditional categories within the arts include literature (including poetry, drama, story, and so on), the visual arts (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.), the graphic arts (painting, drawing, design, and other forms expressed on flat surfaces), the plastic arts (sculpture, modeling), the decorative arts (enamelwork, ...

What type of paintings sell best in India? ›

Indian Paintings
  • Rural, Village Paintings.
  • Rajasthan, Rajasthani Paintings.
  • Traditional, Ethnic, Folk, Tribal Paintings.
  • Temples, Forts, Monuments Paintings.

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