Author: Pramod Ganpatye
Publisher: National Museum
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8185832013
The Art of painting has been a medium of both expression and communication from the earliest known period of history. Man, as nomad, wandering in search of food and security, gradually discovered a language of line and form for expressing his ideas; which account for pre-historic paintings appearing in rock shelters. At a later period, this found expression in the paintings on chalcolithic pottery discovered at various centres. In India, the patterns were either geometric or were styled after the florae and fauna and at times depicted human figures.
The art of painting in India progressed gradually and it reached its zenith during the Satavahana period (2nd -1st B C) and also the Gupta-Vakataka period (5th-6th A D). Mainly of the Buddhist theme, the paintings were on the large canvas of granite walls of the Ajanta caves. The style was line-oriented and natural, besides being brilliant in colour. The painters drew inspiration from the legends related to the previous incarnations of Buddha.
The art of miniature painting in the Punjab hills known as Pahari painting was influenced to some extent by the Mughal painting of Aurangzeb’s period as well as paintings from Nepal, probably via Kashmir, Particularly in its stylized tree forms.
This school has may styles and sub-styles as these paintings developed at various centres such as Basohli, Guler, Chamba. Tehri, Garhwal, Nurpur, Mankot, Mandi, Kulu, Bilaspur etc. under the patronage of their respective rulers.