Craft Miniature painting
Miniature painting
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Miniature painting


Rajasthani miniatures evolved in Marwar-Mewar region as textual illustrations to the Jain text Kalpa-Sutras around the early 15th century. There reflects in these paintings a continuity of the great traditions of Ajanta murals and Jain art of Gujrat.

The bulk of miniature paintings that depicts the initial art style of Rajasthan in its most undiluted form, is reported from Mewar. Bold lines, emotionally charged faces, sharp features, robust figures and basic bright colours are its distinctive features.

Today the artists still practicing, paint exclusively on paper and are known for their fine brush- strokes and subtle shading. The practice of using natural pigments makes the preparation procedure considerably elaborate and time consuming; while older paintings reveal the use of pure colours, in current practice the colours are usually mixed in order to tone down their brilliance. The colours used by the miniature artists were made from minerals, vegetables, precious stones, indigo, conch shells, pure gold and silver. The preparing and mixing of colours was an elaborate process and it took weeks, sometimes months, to get the desired results.

The landscape changed, the colours used were varied, paintings were done on paper and palm leaf to illustrate manuscripts, and on walls of palaces and the inner chambers of forts, Havelis (the painted Havelis of Shekhawati are well-known) and paintings were done on cloth.


Handmade paper, natural paints


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