With roots firmly holding Indian customs, values, and traditions, our Indian art can be described as ‘unitedly diversified’. Diversity in religions, rituals, customs, and practices has helped in the evolution of varied art forms as well.
Indian paintings and traditional art can be counted as live examples, loudly glorifying the strong ‘Sanskritic’ values still present in the hearts of Indians, in this 21st-century era also.
Historical traces of Indian art
With the advent of the Harappan civilization, the real traditional art forms started evolving. Findings of figurative imageries on seals, sculptures, etc. all point in the direction of how people started with art culture.
Traditional Indian art and Tribal Art forms from all parts of India are very beautifully curated in the traditional art gallery of Indianartideas.
Madhubani paintings, Mithila paintings with interesting geometrical patterns, Tanjore paintings, Miniature paintings, Gond paintings, Pattachitra paintings, Kalamkari paintings, Mughal paintings, and many other paintings are gifts of our historical times. One can also re-tour the puranic legends of Indian mythology through Nakashi art and Cherial scroll paintings from Telangana.
Let us explore a little about some of our many Indian traditional art forms:-
Mithila, from Bihar: Also known by the name Madhubani paintings. They are marked by drawing lines among different patterns and then filling them with bright-contrast color duos. This, now, involves every age and gender group. But earlier it strictly adhered to women to make this form. Because of its rural and tribal motifs, beautiful paintings are very much in demand. This art is known to be done on a freshly plastered wall.
With more evolving arts, Madhubani paintings are now practiced on a sheet of paper, canvas, and also on cloth. A brush made out of bamboo with cotton wrapped around it is used for art. A Madhubani painting usually uses natural colors. The trick is to use and apply colors flat. No shading is done and no space is or should be left.
Tanjore, from South: Also called Thanjavur Painting, it is an art form to celebrate the rich and artistic traditions and cultures of the region Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu.
It is popularly known for its depictions of gods and goddesses with the help of vibrant and dark colors. They are also known to use embellishments of heavy gold foil. While the art form of Tanjore has gone through a vast change since its birth, it continues to be one of the most popular kinds of art.
Pattachitra, from Odisha: Cloth scroll painting tradition originating from Odisha, dedicated to mythological and religious themes. Bold and strong outlines, with vibrant colors and decorative borders, define the characteristics of patachitra painting style, which is admired by art lovers across the world.
Gond, tribal art from Central India: Vibrant paintings, with a series of intricately arranged dots and dashes were innovated by the Gondi tribe of central India. The tribals recreate mythological tales and oral histories, traditional songs, important events, and rituals with rich detailing and bright coloring. Colors were always derived from natural resources like cow dung, plant sap, charcoal, colored soil, mud, flowers, leaves, etc. Gond artists now have evolved much with time and started using commercial water-based colors to paint on paper and canvas.
Miniature, Mughal’s gift: Miniature paintings arrived in India with the Mughals in the 16th century. It molded itself in different styles by the combination of Islamic, Persian, and Indian elements. The painting is done using natural stone colors on paper. Others use mineral colors, precious stones, gold, and silver in their respective miniature paintings. Fine brushwork, detailing, and styling are the unique attributes of miniature painting. Across India, this style of painting has developed in schools like Kangra, Rajasthan, Malwa, Pahadi, Mughal, Deccan, etc..
Kalamkari, Andhra’s mirror: the 3000-years-old organic art form of hand and block printing, was anciently used for depicting narrative scrolls and panels. This unique traditional art has a strong connection with Persian motifs and styles. Kalamkari derives its name from kalam or pen. This form depicts animal forms, floral motifs, and mihrab, which also find a place in their respective Kalamkari textile forms. Kalamkari art primarily involves earth colors, namely indigo, green, rust, black, and mustard.
Warli, from Maharashtra: These 2500-years-old, Warli paintings of the Thane and Nasik areas of Maharashtra are cobwebbed with the natural and social rituals of the respective tribe. Warli paintings project the daily and routine activities of the local people of that community. Traditionally, it used twigs with rice paste on mud walls of tribal houses to celebrate the harvests or weddings. Simple and elegant geometrical patterns in white against red or yellow surfaces are used often.
It is always a blessing to dwell in the lap of good old ancient times, sometimes using songs, but more recently using art pieces, paintings, and sculptures at homes or offices. To keep it alive, visit the gallery and buy your stuff!!