Pahari Miniature Painting

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Pahari Miniature Paintings gallery

Museum has been able to build up a sizable collection of miniature painting in particular the pahari school paintings within a few decades and justifiably occupies a place of pride in the art map of the world. These miniature paintings can be distinguished from the Mughal paintings by their brilliance of colour and minuteness of decorative details; and from Rajasthani miniatures by their lyrical quality and romantic atmosphere of the hills. These schools flourished in the hill states of western Himalayas from the 17th to 19th century AD. These paintings were done on hand made paper commonly known as Sialkoti paper and natural colours were used. The miniature paintings representing different schools like those of Basholi, Guler, Kangra, Bilaspur Mandi and Chamba. The themes of these paintings are mostly related to the Epics, Puranas, Gita-Govinda, Bihari-satsai, Baramasa, Ragmala, Devi mahatamya etc. Devi Mahatamya set of miniature paintings dating back to a period as early as 16th century. These paintings provides a key to the style and indicate that a certain art activity continued here in a period which is otherwise known as dark period in the art history of Himachal Pradesh. These paintings are in charupanchsikha style but the same fondness for decorative details, smooth brushwork and delicacy of line is observable as when they come into full bloom and flower into the works of Manku and Nainsukh.