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About Miniature Painting


Allah Baksh, a Mewari miniature painter late 17th century, portrayed the Interpretation of Mahabharata in his Painting and is known for his intricate and delightful representation.


GS I: History

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Allah Baksh: Court Painter of Maharaja Jai Singh
  2. Mewari Style Miniature Painting
  3. Miniature Painting

Allah Baksh: Court Painter of Maharaja Jai Singh

  • Allah Baksh served as a court painter in the late 17th century and was employed by Maharaja Jai Singh of Udaipur.
  • Paintings and Portrayal by Allah Baksh
  • Allah Baksh was known for his meticulous attention to detail in his paintings.
  • His artworks showcased intricate details of characters’ costumes, the surrounding flora and fauna, and depicted magical and mystical events.
  • His miniature paintings beautifully represented episodes from the Mahabharata, offering a harmonious blend of the poet’s and painter’s imaginative worlds.

Mewari Style Miniature Painting:

Mewār Painting

  • Mewār painting is a significant school of Indian miniature painting that flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • It belongs to the broader Rājasthanī style and emerged in the Hindu principality of Mewār, located in the state of Rājasthān, India.
Characteristics of Mewari Style Miniature Painting:
  • This school of painting is highly refined and known for its intricate detailing, vibrant color palette, and meticulous craftsmanship.
  • The paintings from Mewār are marked by their simplicity, bright colors, and direct emotional appeal.
  • Notably, many paintings from this school have well-documented dates and origins, providing valuable insights into the development of Mewār painting.
  • A renowned painter associated with Mewār painting is Sahibdin, who is famous for his work on the Ragamala in 1628.

Miniature Painting:

  • Miniature paintings are small, handcrafted artworks known for their intricate brushwork and vibrant colors.
  • They are characterized by their small size and are often created on perishable materials like paper, palm leaves, and cloth.
  • Natural sources, including vegetables, indigo, precious stones, gold, and silver, are used to create the colors for these paintings.

Origins and Pioneers

The Palas of Bengal are credited as pioneers of miniature painting in India.

Schools of Miniature Painting in India
  • Pala School:
    • Emerged in the 8th century A.D.
    • Emphasized the symbolic use of colors and often depicted themes from Buddhist tantric rituals.
  • Jain School:
    • Gained prominence in the 11th century A.D.
    • Portrayed religious texts like the ‘Kalpa Sutra’ and ‘Kalkacharya Katha’ through miniature paintings.
  • Mughal School:
    • Resulted from the fusion of Indian and Persian miniature painting traditions.
    • Persian miniature paintings were influenced by Chinese art.
  • Rajasthani School:
    • Flourished after the decline of Mughal miniature painting.
    • Comprises various regional schools, including Mewar, Marwar, Hadoti, Dhundar, Kangra, and Kullu, each with its unique style.
  • Pahari School:
    • Emerged in the 17th century A.D. in the Himalayan region of North India.
    • Known for its distinctive style and portrayal of regional themes.
  • Deccan School:
    • Flourished from the 16th to the 19th century A.D. in Deccan regions like Ahmednagar, Golconda, Tanjore, Hyderabad, and Bijapur.
    • Influenced by Deccan traditions and religious beliefs from Turkey, Persia, and Iran.

-Source: Indian Express

June 2024