When one visits Rajasthan, can you make out the differences and similarities in the paintings? Different forts and palaces there include architectural references to history of India. India has been a favorite spot for various foreign troops. Before the arrival of British, Mughals ruled over Indian subcontinent for over 1500 years. Around the rule of Akbar, another community “Rajputs” ruled over parts of Rajasthan. Thus traditional Indian art started inclining towards Mughal and Rajput art.
The prominent telltale sign of difference in these two styles is the absence of Persian influence in Rajput styles as they have used only Indian calligraphies. Mughal paintings symbolized local traditions and pictorials whereas Rajput paintings revolved around themes of Indian traditions and cultures. Though these paintings varied from court to courts, Rajput paintings were a lot similar to Mughal art styles. Mainly the similarity was due to the fact that Mughal art gained huge appreciation when Rajput paintings originated.
- The rich and upper class valued the Mughal art. The horizontal miniatures on A4 size paper were made on loose leafs and joined together for sharing in gatherings but were never framed. Some were binded into a book. This style was inspired by Islamic tradition of Book paintings.
- Islam was the religion of people and thus they used Persian language for communication and only one court existed.
- They were drawn vertically.
- Their paintings paid certain prominence to intricacies.
- Their view point is eminently depicted in the painting, be it landscape or any other visual.
- Mughals had too many realities to make paintings on.
- There paintings were not limited to single view point and thus, colors of different varieties were employed in.
- They generally, depicted court scenes and illustrations of flowers and animals.
- Mughal paintings were devoid of any portrayal of eroticism.
- The primary subjects of these paintings were mainly men, especially emperors of Mughal dynasty and their families. Noble men’s portraits were also extensively created.
- Hunting scenes were widely depicted.
- The Rajput paintings were wrapped in a fine cloth and a ribbon was put across them which were then placed in libraries and displayed on special events.
- Hindu was the religion of people and thus the language spoken was also Hindu. Rajputs had many courts.
- They are two-dimensional paintings which are flatter than the Mughal paintings and the main subjects have black outline.
- They were drawn horizontally.
- They used only bold colors like red, yellow, blue and green. The color formation was a lengthy process and they were obtained from natural sources like plant sources, conch shells and minerals, etc.
- Brushstrokes were very fine.
- Rajput artists made painting exactly to what they saw in front of their eyes as there was always less space in the painting.
- They did not have any verities to which the themes could revolve around.
- Rajput artists were more interested in depicting devotional religious aspects of India. Specific colors were used for the figures of deities. Blue color was applied in figures of Lord Krishna and he was often shown holding a flower which symbolized love.
- Viewers can perceive numerous stories in just one single painting.
- Depictions also included jewellery as well as divine status of the figures in the paintings.
- Women in the paintings were adorned with beauty and wore sensual sheer fabrics.
- They often showcased their sensuality.
Love was portrayed in both Mughal and Rajput paintings. They both also showed a deep interest in jewellery and drape designing. Undeniably, both Mughal and Rajput paintings unveil the history of India. Not only paintings but also movies evoke the culture and traditions which prevailed in historical times. Indian traditional paintings though do not limit to these two styles. Various other styles also evolved with time include, Tanjore, Mysore and Madhubani paintings. Art lovers are always curious to know about the various themes art revolves around and going through various web portals or visiting tourism sites gets them great knowledge. Guides at the historical sites pr the artists who make such traditional paintings can tell you several other hidden details amongst the different paintings styles. Otherwise, the dealers who sell such paintings can also classify the techniques revolving around the particular artwork you choose. India is a confluence of traditions and one can never gain enough knowledge about its origins and evolutions. Most of theories have only been deduced and it’s overwhelming to question what the books tell!
To grab some amazing Indian traditional paintings your can check out Indian Art Ideas, an online art gallery.
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