Portfolio - Kangra Kalam : Album of Art Treasures

Portfolio - Kangra Kalam : Album of Art Treasures

Product ID: 24058

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Author: R C Sharma
Director/Composer/Na: R C Sharma
Publisher: Indian Museum Calcutta
Year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 19
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A


The best of the Mughal technique of drawing and the outburst of romantic feelings with religious and spiritual fervor found a happy blend in Pahari miniatures and its further culminated in the Kangra Kalam.

The idiom ' Kangra-ki Qalm' which is now the synonym of the most celebrated miniature paintings of India, was first used by Lockwood Kipling, the then Principal of the Mayo School of Art, Lahore, while writing for the Journal of Indian Art and Industry in 1887. He was reminding this lovely and brilliant style of art which had gone into the oblivion half a century before.

Kangra style is of course a descendant of the great Mughal art conventions firstly because several artists trained in the Mughal technique worked in the Punjab hills and secondly the Pahari chiefs being subordinates to the Mughal Empire were exposed their traditions.

The graceful treatment of feminine charm and superb rendering of nature are the hall marks of Kangra paintings. In both the cases the artists preferred to cross the border line of accuracy and depended on his vision to make the picture more rhythmic and vibrating. The artist while delineating the nature is more concerned with the spirit of the theme ignoring the real topography of the place.

Besides court scenes and portraits, the other popular subjects of Kangra miniatures are Krishnalila based mainly the Bhagavata Purana but sometimes follow the Mahabharata and Harivamsa traditions. Episodes from Ramayana, Nala-Damayanti, Kumarasambhava, Durgapatha, Gitagovinda of Jaideva and Kesavadas's Baramasa and Nayak-Nayikabheda have also been profusely illustrated.

The Kangra miniatures present an excellent form in profile and some beautiful examples of Kangra Kalam have been chosen for this album, which is a superb creation in the world of miniatures. .


Sansar Chand II the Patron

Plate 1 to 11

Rama in Exile
Rama's Pine for Sita
Battle for Sacrificial Horse
Birth of Krishna
Illing of Chanura and Mushtika
Durga Killing Mahisha
Lady at Toilt
Couple in Bed