The colorful state of Rajasthan has a rich inheritance in its paintings. Beautiful and bold, these pictures depict the rich historical past of the state of Rajasthan. The style and varieties of these paintings are as diverse as the the state itself.
Rajasthani paintings range from simple wall paintings to miniatures, murals, portraits, frescoes, folk paintings, ivory paintings and phads that developed through time in the several schools of paintings. The most famous and prevalent style of Rajasthan are its beautiful miniature paintings. They are the example of the superb talent exhibited by the skilled artists on the paper, ivory panels, leather, marble, wooden tablets and cloth.
Some of the great miniatures gained inspiration from musical melodies known as Ragamala, season namely Baramasa and the mythological works like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Rasikpriya, Rasamanjiri Bhagvata Purana etc. Miniature paintings gained much popularity from the 11th century to the 17th century.
Among the famous schools of paintings of Rajasthan are the Marwar , Hadoti, Mewar and Kishangarh Dhundar (Amer-Jaipur). Ragamala paintings originated from the Mewar school of paintings portraying the scenes from folk dances, classics and great Hindu epics. The school flourished under the rule of of the Maharanas in Rajasthan. Other branches of the Mewar school of paintings includes Devgarh, Sirohi, Shahpur, Pratapgarh, Banswara and Dungarpur.
The Krishangarh School of Painting is equally famous for its highly distinctive style of painting. Nihal Chand was one of the most notable painter of this school, whose work were highly appreciable. His works mostly features scenes from Raslila (of Lord Krishna and Goddess Radha). In his work Krishna admires with his childhood mischives and Radha with her spell bounding beauty.
The Dhundar school of painings was much popular for its exclusive folk art paintings. This painting style was developed by the Hada Rajput rulers in the Bundi and Kota regions. The miniature paintings of these two centers are superb creations and typically portraying beautiful women with round faces, large eyes, long neck and pointed nose. The haunting activities of the erstwhile Rajah’s and Maharajah’s are portrayed in these paintings.
The rulers of Rajasthan were very keen on decorating their palaces with beautiful wall paintings and sculptures. Some of the great wall paintings are now seen in Chattar Mahal, Chitrasala apartments in the Bundi Palace, Raj Mahal palaces and the Brijnath temple in the Kota temple complex.