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Indian art and architecture

Indian art and architecture

Origins of art in India

Indian art and architecture begins in Paleolithic Stone Age culture, with the famous petroglyphs of Bhimbetka in the Auditorium Cave, Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh, as well as other petroglyphs in Daraki-Chattan, a refuge of narrow and deep rocks in Indragarh. Hill, near Tehsil Bhanpura, Madhya Pradesh. These primitive domes and rock art instances date back to 290,000-700,000 BC. C. (For other prehistoric works of art in the Far East, see also: Chinese Neolithic art.) Later, Buddhists were associated with many examples of rock art, which Hindus imitated in the 7th century in Badami, Aihole, Ellora, Salsette, Elephanta, Aurangabad, and Mamallapuram. Furthermore, Buddhist literature is full of descriptions of the royal palaces of the Iron Age in India, decorated with a variety of religious art including frescoes and panel paintings, but no such works have survived. The best early frescoes that have emerged are those of the Brihadisvara Temple in Chola, and the murals on the temple walls in Pundarikapuram, Ettumanoor, Aymanam, and Trivandrum.


Practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar state, India, the Indian art and architecture of Madhubani painting are traditionally derived from the Ramayana era, when King Janak commissioned artists to represent the marriage of his daughter, Sita, to Sri Rama, who was considered the incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.


Mughal painting is a miniaturist style of Indian painting, typically executed to illustrate texts and manuscripts. It emerged and flourished during the Mughal Empire in the 16th-19th centuries, coinciding with the rise of the art of enlightenment in Persia, which reached its peak during the Safavid dynasty (1501-1722). In fact, the Mughal images were a mix of Indian and Islamic art. One of the main patrons of Mughal painting was Akbar (1556-1605). At Fatehpur Sikri, he employed the two Persian master painters Abdus Samad and Mir Sayyid Ali, and attracted artists from all over India and Persia. They painted on canvas using bright reds, blues, and greens, as well as duller Persian colors of pink and peach.


Another type of cut style miniature Indian art and architecture, Rajput painting flourished in particular during the 18th century, in the royal courts of Rajputana. It usually represents a variety of themes, including the life of Krishna, epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as landscapes and people. The colors used were generally mined from minerals, plants, even snail shells. The brushes used by Rajput artists were typically very thin and tapered.


Known for its elegance, subtle colors, and intricate detail, Mysore painting is an important form of classic South Indian art. Mysore’s paintings portray Hindu gods and goddesses and scenes from Hindu mythology. The process of making a Mysore painting involves a preliminary sketch of the image that is then covered with a plaster paste made of zinc oxide and gum arabic to give a slightly elevated effect. Then a thin gold foil is glued. The rest of the drawing is pasted with watercolor.


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