Miniature Painting for UPSC Exam

Indian art and culture is a diverse and interesting topic. It covers cultural facet from ancient, medieval to modern periods. UPSC IAS Exam aspirants find this topic very difficult to study and to solve the questions from this segment.

Miniature Painting

  • Miniatures paintings are fine-looking handmade paintings. These paintings are quite colorful but small in size.
  • The best part of these paintings is the complex and delicate brushwork, which gives them a distinctive identity. 
  • The colors used for miniatures are handmade. They are mainly obtained from pure gold, silver, minerals, vegetables, precious stones, indigo, and conch shells
  • The theme of the Miniature painting of India includes of the Ragas.
  • There were a number of miniature painting schools in the country, comprising those of the Deccan, Rajputs, and Mughals.

Also, Read | Art and Culture Preparation Strategy for Prelims

History of Miniature Painting in India

  • The advancement of Indian Miniatures paintings began in the Western Himalayas, about the 17th century. 
  • These paintings were extremely influenced by the mural paintings which were derived during the later half of the 18th century. 
  • During the time of the Mughals, the Hindu Rajas of Rajasthan, Muslim kings of the Deccan and Malwa supported the development of miniature painting.
  • The Mughals introduced Persian tradition in the Indian Miniature paintings.

Schools of Miniature Painting 

The different schools of the Miniature paintings of India include: 

  • Pala School 
  • Orissa School 
  • Jain School 
  • Mughal School 
  • Rajasthani School 
  • Nepali School 
  • The initial examples of the Indian Miniature painting are those connected to the Pala School.
  • Pala School highlighted on the representative use of color in the paintings, which was taken from tantric ritual.
  • The other characteristics of the Pala School include
    • The use of a skillful and graceful line
    • Modeling forms by delicate and expressive variation of pressure
    • Use of natural color for painting human skin
  • The Jain School of Miniature paintings placed great stress on style.
  • The exclusive feature of Jain school comprises the strong pure colors, enlarged eyes stylish figures of women, thick gold outlines, and square-shaped hands.
  • The impact of Jain miniature paintings can be seen on the Mughal paintings and Rajasthani paintings also.

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