History of Mughal Paintings

Mughal Paintings has the influence of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religion. Generally, the paintings were created in a form of books illustration, miniatures or as a single/ one piece painting. These paintings play an important role in the history of Indian Paintings. Mughal Paintings evolved during various Mughal emperors and they were very impressed and inspired by the Persian school of miniature and used the same typical miniatures in their Mughal Paintings. Mughal used different themes to make their miniatures or paintings such as legendary stories, wildlife, royal life, hunting scenes, battlefield, Muslim mythology and more. And the best part of these paintings is that they have now become the main medium to describe the tales of the Mughal Empire. This form of art was so famous at that many Indian courts also used Mughal style paintings. And in our present time, there is a huge collection of many Mughal Paintings in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Historic information about Mughal Paintings

The historical representation of Mughal Paintings is very distinct from our imagination. Mughal Empire came into known in India; the Delhi Sultanate has already ruled various parts of India and its subcontinent. The miniature was into existence from the 10th century in the variable region of India and continues to grow in many Indian regional courts during the ruling of Delhi Sultanate. Emperor Humayun brought the two most famous Persian artists named Abd al-Samad and Mir Saiyyad Ali when he was returning from his exile. Mir Abd al-Samad created many famous paintings called “Khamsa of Nizami” after the instructions and orders given by the Emperor Humayun.  These paintings have diverged towards more to a new form of a part known as Mughal Paintings and away from the traditional Persian art form. And this how the style of Mughal Paintings was born.

These Mughal Paintings became more amongst various rulers because they thought that this is the suitable and interesting idea to portray their royalty and fascinating stories in this way. And these rulers though that this is the greatest way to depict their achievements and bravery in war. Akbar the son of Humayun took this Mughal Paintings into the new heights of Indian Paintings. He planned to extend his father library after the death of his Humayun. He was fond of Mughal arts and Mughal paintings become more famous during the ruling age of Akbar. And this ritual is again forwarded to his successors such as Shah Jahan and Dara Sikoh. So, let’s have a look at the development of Mughal paintings in the ruling age of various Mughal Emperors.

Evolution of Mughal Paintings during Akbar ruling

Akbar is very close to his father Humayun and due to that reason he thought to extend this Mughal art as a symbol of their Mughal talent. He learned so many things with Abd al-Samad and then he developed the Mughal Paintings by giving a very attention towards the artwork. Akbar had numerous painters and he also narrated his “Tutinama” and also created 250 miniatures to narrate “Tutinama” and this “Tutinama” is Cleveland Museum of Art. The other famous paintings of Akbar time is Darab Nama, Kamsa of Nizami, Baharistan, Gulistan and more. Gulistan was by Saadi Shirazi at Fatehpur Sikri.

Evolution of Mughal Paintings during Jahangir ruling

Jahangir is very much interest towards art just like his father Akbar had and this interest of Jahangir is become of major of growth in Mughal Paintings and Indian Paintings as well. He was very much influenced by the European artist that’s why ordered his painters to use European techniques and perspective for paintings. This painting’s history is more largely commissioned when Jahangir started portraying Kings and Queens with the help of European techniques. Jahangir used fine brush light colors and single strokes in the Mughal Paintings after getting inspired by European paintings. And the major project of Jahangir was the “Jahangirnama”. It was basically an autobiography of Jahangir himself which portrayed the Mughal paintings with distinct themes, spider fighting. He also created more paintings of birds, flowers, and animals in a much realistic manner.

Evolution of Mughal Paintings during Shah Jahan ruling

During the ruling reign of Shah Jahan, Mughal Paintings led with more amazing and realistic paintings. Shah Jahan focused on creating the paintings of the garden because he thought that this kind of paintings will give an aesthetic pleasure and he was also very interested in creating paintings of lovers in some intimate positions. He commissioned an important work during his ruling period called as “Padshanama” and this was very lavish and luxurious because it had gold plating work. In Padshanama, the achievements of Kings in the courts with other servants and courtier were depicted. In this work, several servants are portrayed in the paintings with amazing detailing with frontal view technique.

Evolution of Mughal Paintings during Aurangzeb ruling

As all the predecessors of Aurangzeb encourage the Mughal paintings, unlike Aurangzeb did not have such support towards Mughal paintings. However, during the reign of Aurangzeb Mughal paintings already had the support of the common peoples and many paintings were during that period of time. Aurangzeb did not support or order these paintings so, painters decided to create them in their own workshops. However, Aurangzeb ordered the painters to close these workshops as soon as possible because he was not in favour of such paintings.

Outstanding painters of Mughal Period

Mughal Paintings are created by many amazing painters and these painters took care of miniatures to elaborate the tales of Mughal kings. This Mughal painting was started by the Persian artist Mir Saiyyad Ali and Abd al-Samad that were the main gems in the Mughal Paintings. However, in the 16th and 17th century many famous painters such as Basawan, Miskin, Daswanth and LAL who worked efficiently in the Mughal Empire. Akbar brought an artist named as Kesu Das to start European technique in their paintings and another known painter Govardhan worked in Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan reign with complete interest. Some of the other outstanding artists are Mushfiq, Fazl, and Kamal.

History of Radha Krishna Paintings

Decorating your home with paintings is incomplete without the beautiful Radha Krishna paintings. Radha and Krishna are divinity together and there is an invisible between them that’s why their devotees also chant their name together. Indian artist always tries to depict that same love and devotion in their artwork.

Radha Krishna Paintings are being made for many years by Indian artist to show their devotion and love of Radha Krishna. In the paintings of Radha Krishna, you can easily feel and visualize their love. In this article, we mentioned and explain some of the historic paintings and their origin that helps you in understanding the history of Radha Krishna Paintings. To cherish the beautiful love story of Radha Krishna in the paintings mentioned some of the traditional paintings and their styles in this blogs. So, let’s have a look at it.

Radha Krishna Paintings- Madhubani Paintings:

Madhubani paintings are the oldest paintings in India because they are originated at the time of Ramayan. However, this Madhubani painting is again practised in the district of Bihar after a massive earthquake hit the areas of Bihar State.

Madhubani Paintings are also known as Mithila Paintings and women of Bihar make some auspicious interior wall paintings to decorate their homes.  The women of Bihar considered that Madhubani or Mithila paintings are the best way to define the love and devotion of Radha Krishna. They used to paint Radha and Krishna together on the floral background with the traditional style. In Madhubani Paintings, they also have separate Krishna Paintings with some specific story behind it. The background of these Radha Krishna paintings has mesmerizing floral or geometric pattern background.

Radha Krishna Paintings- Phad Paintings

The oldest and religious Radha Krishna Paintings are found in Phad Paintings. Phad paintings are the originated in the Rajasthan State 700 years ago. The first Krishna Paintings of Phad painting was painted in between 13 and 14th century.

In these painting, the story of Radha Krishna is visualized in a very compact manner. Radha and Krishna paintings are made on the fabric with colours and contrast that’s why a long piece of fabric or cloth which is painted with some traditional stories is known as Phad. And in early time people used rice and wheat flour instead of colours which are known as Kalaph Banana. It also has some small boxes in the paintings to depict the different scenes and emotions of Radha Krishna story.

Radha Krishna Paintings- Tanjore Paintings

In the Maratha Court of Thanjavur, Tanjore Paintings are originated and that’s why they are also known as Thanjavur Paintings. The major inspiration of artwork was found in the 1600 A.D and Tanjore has a wide range of Krishna Paintings and Radha Krishna Paintings. It is basically a traditional style of South Indian paintings.

These paintings are done on a wooden plank which is known as palagi padam and people of south Indian region decorate their interior walls with the Tanjore Radha Krishna Paintings. In Tanjore Painting, you can also get some separate paintings of Krishna playing with his friends, doing Rasleela and teasing the Gopis of Gokul.

In the paintings of Radha Krishna, a mesmerizing love story can be easily found in the colour combination of Tanjore paintings. The devotion of painter and love of Radha Krishna is perfectly conceptualized in these Tanjore Paintings.

Radha Krishna Paintings- Pichwai Paintings

Pichwai is the most devotional painting which is done on fabric and paper and this painting portrays the story of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha. It is originated in the Aurangabad, Rajasthan and Deccan area of India which narrates the different tales of Krishna.

The word Pichwai comes from Sanskrit which hanging at the back. These paintings are in huge size and most are done on a large size of fabric. the most famous collection of Pichwai painting is the portraying the Rasleela of Lord Krishna, his childhood stories, love stories of Radha Krishna, killing scenes of Pootna and Kans and other scenes of Lord Krishna.

Pichwai paintings are mostly painted with natural colours instead of synthetic colour. If you are a true devotee of Radha Krishna then you should purchase a painting of any these category to decorate your interior walls.

History of Tanjore Art

Tanjore paintings are one of the most popular forms of classical South Indian Paintings. This native art form comes from Thanjavur (also known as Tanjore), a city of Tamil Nadu.

It was the 16th century when the supremacy of Marathas originated Tanjore paintings also known as Thanjavur paintings.

Unlike other Indian Paintings, Tanjore paintings follow a different and unique pattern. Today, a few dedicated artists mostly based in Tamil Nadu have kept this tradition alive.

The dense composition, rich surface, and vibrant colours distinguish Tanjore paintings from another present form of Indian paintings.

A typical Tanjore painting has a common theme divulging child Krishna and his various pranks. The painting consists of a deity as the main figure with almond-shaped eyes and a well-rounded body.

A gem-set or glided technique is used to highlight certain aspects of the paintings like dresses, ornaments, etc. and sparkling stones and gold leaves are used. The paintings are colourful, bright and breathtakingly appealing.

It can become a centre of attraction in any of your room because it glows in the dark. Over the years, the Tanjore paintings have undergone various changes.

Though the style has changed, the technique remains the same. The reflection of Tanjore paintings lasts forever.

History & Evolution of Tanjore Paintings:

These paintings are named after a southern state of India which is Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The city is pronounced as Tanjore in English and so paintings are known as Tanjore Paintings.

The Thanjavur district is famous for its stunning art and architecture. And among all the Indian paintings, Tanjore paintings are considered as the most popular form of paintings.

The Maratha rule of Thanjavur started this stunning art form. Under the incumbency of the Nayak and Maratha princess, the Tanjore paintings flourished.

The two major communities which practised this art form were the Naidus from Madurai and the Rajus from Thanjavur.  Materials like glass, wood, and mica, as well as some unusual mediums like murals, ivory and manuscripts, were used for the paintings.

In the late centuries, the paintings were embedded with the real rubies, diamonds and other precious stones. But with the evolution of time, artificial and semi-precious stones gained popularity and got into the rage.

Making of Tanjore Paintings:

The very first and basic step involved in the making of stunning and beautiful Tanjore paintings is the drawing of the preliminary sketch of the image of the base.

The base is made from a piece of cloth, pasted over a wooden base. Further, the base is covered with a paste mixed up with zinc oxide and water-soluble adhesive.

After the applying the paste on the wooden base, the drawing is made and ornamented with cut glass, pearls, and semi-precious stones. Laces and threads are also used to decorate the paintings.

The thin sheets of gold are pasted on some part of the paintings, while the other parts are painted with bright colours to enhance the effect.

Tanjore Paintings and Modern Era:

Slowly and gradually, Tanjore painting is becoming famous all over the world.

They have a rich and aesthetic appeal that can attract anyone. As the theme of this painting is very spiritual so they give peace to the person who owns these paintings and to those who make them.

It has even become a motivational therapy for peace of mind. They can surely give a rest to your soul from the hectic schedules that one face in his daily life.

No matter that with time Tanjore paintings have evolved but the purity and its natural and native beauty are still present in these paintings. During festive seasons of South India, many people use these paintings to gift their loved ones as souvenirs.

They are largely used to change the environment of the offices or homes. Markets have the extensive range of Tanjore painting with different sizes and different prices to add beauty in your homes and to fit your budget.

These paintings have also become so popular because they are suitable for every corner of the home. Their spiritual theme makes them perfect for every corner of the home.

This time get a Tanjore painting for your home and spread the fragrance of spirituality around you!

History of Pichwai Paintings

If you go long years back, you will realise that there was no tool to record the golden history except for paintings. And that was the time when Pichwai Paintings got into existence.

Pichwai is a Sanskrit word, where pich stands for ‘back’ and wai for ‘hanging’.

They are the devotional pictures used to portray the tales of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna’s childhood is a motivation for thousands of people on this Earth.

There are various art forms which are used and have been used in the past to divulge the Lord Krishna stories at the time to time.

But, the Pichwai Paintings are one of the major art form and most popular in Rajasthan which has been used widely for over 400 years by the artists.

It is one of the best ways for the devotees to experience ‘the colours of Krishna’ by just one glimpse of beautiful Pichwai Paintings.

History of Pichwai Paintings:

A 400-year-old pichwai painting originated in the holy town of Nathdwara near Udaipur, Rajasthan. The motive behind these pictures was to narrate the tale of Krishna’s life.

In the late 16th century, the artists started creating pictorial illustrations on cloth and hanging on the wall to decorate the temples of Shrinathji, and this resulted in the birth of pichwai paintings.

In those days, decorating the temples with handmade pichwai paintings became an eternal ritual.

Interesting facts about Pichwai Paintings:

  • The dominant figure that usually you will find in Pichwai Paintings is of Lord Shrinathji. He is considered as an evidence of 7-year-old child form of Lord Krishna. Everyone is known to the story of when Lord Krishna lifted the Govardhan parvat on his little finger to safeguard the people of Vrindavan from the devastating thunderstorm attack of Lord Krishna. If you are a pichwai painting fan then you will definitely encounter that this tale is the most common tale portrayed in the pichwai paintings.
  • Different seasons and events in Lord Krishna’s life are depicted in Pichwais. The radiant pink colour was used to show summer, whereas illustration of peacocks was used at the temple to divulge the rainy season.
  • The creation of pichwai paintings takes long months and immense skills and experience. Now, there is no way to learn the art of creating pichwai paintings. These paintings are also an example of ‘Guru-shishya’ tradition; the intricacies of the art have been passed down through the generations. This is a sacred art form dedicated to the god.
  • Unlike other art forms, it is impossible to touch-up the artwork because of their fine detailing. Natural colours made by using coal, gold, silver, indigo, zinc, are saffron are only used in these paintings. Over time and with the impact of commercialization, artists started using a combination of natural and acrylic colours to give the atheistic touch to the paintings.

Pichwai Paintings and Home Décor:

It is a proven fact that art is the born of the observation and investigation of nature. So as pichwai paintings are. With time, these paintings have successfully made a strong position among the urban section of society. People have started installing it in their living rooms, bedrooms, and other parts of their happy land.

They are used only because they are a source of beauty, they also prevail in spirituality and positive vibes in your home.

The evolution of pichwai paintings has been a little slow in the eyes of painting lovers. But, with the change in the mind-sets and thoughts, people have accepted these paintings from open hands.

There are two popular forms of pichwai paintings, one is Kota Bundi and another is Nathdwara.

A good pichwai painting takes almost three to nine months to get ready and the selling price starts around Rs. 50,000.

To fit in the urban lifestyles, contemporary artists have now added their touch to enhance the beauty of pichwai painting.

Enhance the beauty of your home with a wall hung with Pichwai Painting. You can also find a wide variety of pichwai paintings online.

If you want your guests to turn their eyes on the wall decors of your home, then pick up your laptop and browse the internet to pick one from the extensive variety of pichwai painting present on the web.