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CHAURA MAIDAN, SHIMLA-171004, HIMACHAL PRADESH
E-mail :  statemuseumshimla@yahoo.com
Phone : 0177-2805044   Fax : 0177-2805044

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BHURI SINGH MUSEUM
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SCULPTURES PAINTINGS ANTHROPOLOGY NUMISMATICS ARMS MANUSCRIPTS

Paintings [ PAHARI PAINTINGS ]   [ OTHER INDIAN SCHOOLS ]   [ CONTEMPORARY ]

The activity of miniature painting in India is shrouded in the distant past but its main purpose was to illustrate the text relating to mythology or the lives of saints. There are two distinct school of painting; one from Bengal and Bihar and other from Western India, Gujrat, Mewar etc. The early surviving examples were done on palm leaves and indicate greatest concentration in Gujrat where patronage was provided by the Jains, though this may be accidental and occasioned by the special care with which that community preserved them and maintained there sanctity. The favourite Jaina text chosen for illustration were the Kalpasutra and Kalakacharya–katha. Manuscripts with Hindu themes are also known as well. The style is emphatically linear, the forms flat with sharp angular contours, the faces generally in profile but with both eyes shown, one of them protruding into empty space.

The history of miniature paintings took new turn with the establishment of Mughal Empire. Mughal art was essentially a court product and while it had a healthy growth under the more artistic rulers like, Akbar, Jehangir and Shahjehan, it declined with the comparative apathy of the later ruler Aurengzeb. Mughal art is distinctly secular in subject-matter and realistic in method of workmanship. The Mughal artist living the life of the camp and the court had naturally a predilection for the scenes with which he was familiar like hunting and battle scenes, sieges and durbar, curious animals and wonderful trees. The best known works of the Mughal school are however its portraits mainly of royal personage. During the reign of Aurangzeb patronage seems increasingly to shift away from the court. But the rapid disintegration of the Mughal empire sealed the fate of the arts which were intimately associated with it. Artists dispersed to the various provincial centers where the great nobles were establishing kingdom of their own, and there, on occasion, the new environment induced a brief spasm of life.

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Geet Govind 19th Cent. Kangra Krishna playing on flute 19th Cent., Bundelkhand, Rajasthan Village in Goa, Ram Kumar

 

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