- Earliest evidence of paintings on rocks.
- Bhimbetka – 5000BC
- Known from Primitive rock paintings of Bhimbetka, Mirapurs & Panchmarhi.
- Then came the painted pottery of Indus valley civilization.
- But the real beginning of paintings can be traced from Gupta times.
Pre – historic Paintings
- Were rock engravings known as Petroglyps.
- Bold lines
- Used colors like Ache red, Yellow earth or Soot black colors
- The rocks are first scratched with stone & then they were filled with colors.
- Figures of Hunting, Animals, humans, Dancing scenes & Riding scenes etc were very common.
Ex:- Bhimbetka cave Paintings
- Discovered in 1957 – 58 by an Archaeologist V.S.Wakantar.
- They belongs to 3 periods i.e Upper paleolithic, Mesolithic & Chalcolithic.
- Used white, dark red & Green colors
- Depicting Large animals like Bison, Elephant, Rhinoceros & Tigers etc…
- Green used mainly for Dancing While red used for Hunting.
- Used mainly Red color
- Paintings are now smaller compared to Upper paleolithic.
- Most common scenes: Group Hunting.
- Also depicting Grazing scenes, Riding scenes etc..
- Used mainly Green & Red colors
- Themes: Battle scenes, Men riding Horses & Elephant, Bow & Arrow scenes.
Classification of Paintings in India
- Mural paintings & Miniature paintings
- Large works executed in form of paintings on the walls of large structures are known as Mural paintings.
- Based on 3 religions; Buddhism, Jainism & Hinduism.
- Influence of Persian paintings
- Ajanta cave painting
- Ellora cave painting
- Bagh cave painting
- Lepakshi painting
- Sitannavasal painting
- Very detailed & Very small paintings.
- Executed on a very small scale like paper, palm leaf, cloth & Glass etc..
- Composition, Perspective & colors are important.
- The term Miniature derived from Latin & Minium means Red ledd paint used in illuminated manuscripts during Renaissance.
- Must be larger than 25 sq. inch.
- Subject must be painted not mere than 1/6th of its actual style.
Ex:- Pala school, Ragmala paintings, Kishangad, Mughal & Apabramhsa.
Features of Miniature paintings
- Mostly human characters are seen with side profile.
- Bulging eyes, pointed nose & Slim waist.
- Skin colors painted in brown.
- Women has long hair.
- Color of hairs & Eyes painted in black.
- Traditional Indian dress is painted.
- Men has turbans on head.
Gupta age paintings
- Kamasutra paintings was one of the paintings among 64 fine arts.
- Vatsayana speaks about 6 principles or limbs of paintings called ‘Sadangas of paintings’
- Rup Bheda; Knowledge of appearance
- Praman; Correct perception, measure & structure.
- Lawan Yogam; Inferior of grace & artistic representation.
- Sadrisyam; Similarity.
- Varnika Bhanga; Manner of Using brush & color.
- 29 caves.
- Mural & Fresco paintings on the walls of caves
- Expression of emotions through hand postures.
- Different hair styles for each female.
- Even animals & birds are shown with emotions.
- Fresco method i.e on wet plaster.
- Tempera method i.e using pigments.
- Exclusively Buddhist, excepting decorative patterns on the ceilings & the pillars.
- Theme: Jatakas, recording the previous births of the Lord Buddha.
- Principal characters in most of the designs are in heroic proportions.
Ellora cave paintings
- Influence of 3 religions – Buddhism, Jainism & Hinduism.
- Theme: Themes of Ramayana & Mahabharata etc..
- Sharp twist of the head,
- Painted angular bents of the arms,
- Concave curve of the close limbs,
- Sharp projected nose &
- Long drawn open eyes
Lepakshi paintings in India
- Located in Lepakshi, Hindupur (Andhra Pradesh)
- Mural paintings executed on temple walls at Lepakshi during Vijayanagar period
- Themes: Secular themes.
- Complete absence of primary colors (particularly blue)
- Cave & Mural paintings inTanjore, Tamil Nadu.
- Wide open eyes of all the figures as compared to Ajanta tradition of half closed drooping eyes.
Theme: Jain paintings.