Model Question and Answers for APSC | Discuss the evolution and spread of miniature paintings during the medieval period.

Discuss the evolution and spread of miniature paintings during the medieval period.

Model Question and Answers for APSC | Discuss the evolution and spread of miniature paintings during the medieval period.

Ans: Miniatures are small-sized paintings, generally done in watercolour on cloth or paper. The earliest miniatures were on palm leaves or wood. Some of the most beautiful of these, found in western India, were used to illustrate Jaina texts.

 

The evolution and spread of miniature paintings during the medieval period:

  • The Mughal emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan patronised highly skilled painters who primarily illustrated manuscripts containing historical accounts and poetry.
  • These were generally painted in brilliant colours and portrayed court scenes, scenes of battle or hunting, and other aspects of social life. They were often exchanged as gifts and were viewed only by an exclusive few – the emperor and his close associates.

 

Rajasthani schools of painting:

  • With the decline of the Mughal Empire, many painters moved out to the courts of the emerging regional states. As a result Mughal artistic tastes influenced the regional courts of the Deccan and the Rajput courts of Rajasthan. At the same time, they retained and developed their distinctive characteristics.
  • Portraits of rulers and court scenes came to be painted, following the Mughal example. Besides, themes from mythology and poetry were depicted at centres such as Mewar, Jodhpur, Bundi, Kota and Kishangarh.

 

Pahari school of painting:

  • Another region that attracted miniature paintings was the Himalayan foothills around the modern-day state of Himachal Pradesh.
  • By the late seventeenth century this region had developed a bold and intense style of miniature painting called Basohli. The most popular text to be painted here was Bhanudatta’s Rasamanjari.
  • Nadir Shah’s invasion and the conquest of Delhi in 1739 resulted in the migration of Mughal artists to the hills to escape the uncertainties of the plains.
  • Here they found ready patrons which led to the founding of the Kangra school of painting. By the mid eighteenth century the Kangra artists developed a style which breathed a new spirit into miniature painting.
  • The source of inspiration was the Vaishnavite traditions. Soft colours including cool blues and greens, and a lyrical treatment of themes distinguished Kangra painting.