Rajasthani Painting, Development, Painters and Origins

Rajasthani Painting, Development, Painters and Origins
Rajasthani Painting, Development, Painters and Origins

Rajasthani Painting, Development, Painters and Origins

Rajasthani painting styles:-

  • Rajasthani painting originated from the “Apabhramsh style”.
  • The name of Rajasthani painting was first given by “Ramakrishna Das”.
  • Rajasthani painting started: in the Mesolithic period 
  • Golden period in India = period of Jahangir (1605-1627 AD)
  • Father of Rajasthani Painting = “Kundal Lal Mistry”
  • Beginning of painting in Rajasthan = 15th century 
  • The golden age of painting in Rajasthan = 17th – 18th century period (Golden age of painting said by Carle Khandelwal)

Naming of Rajasthani painting style:-

  • Anand Kumar Swami (Book Rajput Painting) called “Rajput Painting Style”.
  • Jadunath Sarkar called the provincial “Mughal period”.
  • Called “Rajput Art” by WH Brown (book Indian Painting).
  • HC Mehta (Book Studies in Indian Painting) called “Hindu painting style”.
  • Ramakrishna Das called it a “Rajasthani painting”.
  • The ancient texts of Rajasthan are preserved in the Jin Bhattasuri repository of Jaisalmer.
Marwar painting style Mewar painting style search style Hadauti painting style
Jodhpur Chavand / Udaipur Amer/Jaipur Bundi
Bikaner Devgarh Alwar Kota (not Jhalawar)
Nagaur By Nath Uniara Tonk
Kishangarh Shahpura Shekhawati


Influence on “Rajasthani Painting”: (1.) Jain influence, (2.) Apabhramsha influence, (3.) Gujarati

Rajasthani painting style:- 

    1. Name given by Ramakrishna Das 
    2. Why the first painter of Rajasthani painting = Srirangadhar
    3. Ancient text = Ogh Narayana Dasha Vaikalika Sutra Churni = 1060 AD.
    4. Painter = saw
    5. Will meet = Jin Bhadra Museum – Jaisalmer

2. Marwar Painting:-

(i) Jodhpur painting style:- 
      • Beginning:- During the time of Maldev (1532-1562 AD)
      • Illustration of the text (Jaino) called “Uttaradhyayana Sutra”
      • Mural paintings in “Chokhelao Mahal” (Jodhpur).
      • Veer ji (Bithaldas) :- 
        • Illustration of “Ragamala”, during the time of Surasimha.
        • Famous painter of Jodhpur style of painting
      • During the time of Jaswant Singh, Mughal influence came.
      • At the time of Mansih = Golden period of Jodhpur painting
        • Illustration of texts related to the Nath sect.
        • Shivpuran, Durga Puran, Nath Charitra.
      • European influence on Marwar painting = time of Takht Singh 
      • Picture of Durgadas Rathod:- HK Muller.
      • Jodhpur painting style = 
        • Famous painters:- Shivdas, Amardas, Kishandas, Jeetmal, Dhajju
      • features:- 
        • Color :- Red + Yellow
        • The yellow colour is on the border of the picture.
        • illustration of clouds
        • illustration of mountains
        • Illustration of love stories:- 
          • Story of Dhola-Maru
          • Mahendra – Story of Moomal
(ii) Bikaner painting style:-
      • Start:- At the time of Raisinghha
      • illustration from “Bhagavata Purana”
      • Golden period = reign of Anup Singh

2- Types of painting famous:- 

      1. Usta art:- 
        • camel skin painting
        • Anupasihan called Ali Raza and Khakanddin (from Lahore).
        •  Famous painter for Usta art = Hesamuddin → Padmashree Samanit.
        • Camel Hide Training Center = Usta Kala Vidyalaya (Bikaner)
      2. Madheran Art:- 
        • Pictures of Bikaner Maharajas.
        • wet plaster painting
        • In Bikaner, it is called “Aala-Geela”.
        • In Shekhawari it is called “Paon Kala”.
        • Other names:- Fresco art or Arais art
Features of Bikaner painting style:-
      • Use of purple + brown colours.
      • Painting of sand dunes (Bikaner)
      • Painting of flowers and leaves (Bikaner)
      • Influence of Punjabi + Mughal + Deccani (South India). 
      • Pictures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses – by Muslim painters.
      •  The name and date of the painter from Bikaner and Shekhawati are written along with the picture.

Camel meaning = Bikaner
Camel Research Center = Joharbeed
Matherana = Jain person is called.

“3” method of painting in Bikaner:-
      1. Fresco Buno:- Painting on a wet wall. 
      2. Fresco secco:- on a dry wall 
      3. Simple method:- directly on the wall

Prominent Bikaneri painters:-

      1. Baluram Potter
      2. Jagdev and Tansukh.
HK Muller’s famous photograph of Prithviraj Rathod writing to “Maharana Pratap”. (Illustration of writing a letter)
(iii) Kishangarh painting style:-
      • Reign of Sawant Singh (Nagridas)
        • The golden period of Kishangarh painting
      • Beautiful paintings of God (mostly paintings of Shri Krishna)
      •  Raja Sawant Singh got his girlfriend Rasik Bihari portrayed as Radha.
      • Main picture:- 
        • Bani-Thani = 
          • Mordhwaj Nihalchand was a painter 
          • Postage stamp issued in 1973.
          • “Monalisa of India” = said, Eric Dixon. 
            •  Mordhwaj Nihalchand also painted the Nagar Samuchaya Granth
      • features:- 
        • There was more portrayal of women. 
        • Colour: White and pink with pink at the corner 
      • Kishangarh style = influence of Kangra painting
(iv) Nagaur painting:-
      • Use of dull colors.
      • Transparent clothes were painted.
(v) Ajmer:- 
      • Female painter = Sahiba
(vi) Jaisalmer :-
      • There is no effect of any other style on it.
      • Many pictures of Mumal were taken.

(2) Mewadi painting style:- 

  • Influenced by Ajanta’s painting style.
  • Original style of Rajasthan.
  • Mother of Rajasthani painting 
  • Oldest text:- 
    •  “Shravan Pratikraman Sutra Churni” of 1260 AD (at the time of Tej Singh) in Ahad – Kamal Chand 
    • The first available book made on palm leaf.
    •  1423 AD During the time of Rana Mokal “Suparshvanath Charit” (in Delwara) – Hiranand 
(a) Chavand painting style:- (Udaipur)
  • The origin of Mewar painting style started = Pratap
  • Famous Painter = Nasiruddin
  • features:- 
    • pictures of Kadamba tree
    • Pisces eyes
    • The stereoscopic effect
    • short neck and turbans
  • Famous Pictures:- Picture of Dhola Maru (1598 AD).
  • Painter = “Nasikhaddin”
  • Bhula Dhola Maru Ri Chaupai = Illustrated book with major dates.
Maharana Amar Singh:- Rise of Chavand style
  • Nasiruddin – Illustration of Ragmala and Barhamapta
Maharana Jagat Singh I :- Golden Age
  • Construction – Chitero Ki Overi / Pictures Ro Factory
  • Painter :-  
    • Sahibuddin (person portrait expert)
      • Illustration – Ragamala and the battle of Ramayana (1605 AD)
    • Lovely
Maharana Sangram Singh :-
  • The subject of illustration –
    • “Mullah on two onion sticks”
    • “Illustration on Kalila Damana”
      • Kalila – Persian translation of Panchatantra
  • Painter = Vishnu Sharma  
Other painters:-
  • Nana Ram (1540 AD) = Picture of Parijat incarnation
  • Kriparam and Jagannath, Gangaram etc.
Specialty of Chavad/Udaipur style:-
  • Color = red-yellow
  • tree = kadamba tree
Three-Dimensional Images:- 3D Effects in Hunting scenes
(b) Nathdwara style :- 
  • Beginning = Golden period during the reign of Raj Singh (1652-80 AD)
  • Prominent women painters:-
    • Kamala and Elaichi
  • More pictures of Lord Krishna
  • Pichhwai’s painting of Nathdwara is famous.
  • Picture of the tree :- Did the tree |
  • color = yellow + green

Famous paintings of Mewar painting style:- Description


  1. Shravak – Pratikraman Sutra Churni :- 
    • first treatise on copper plate
    • In Ahar during the time of Tej Singh (1260 AD)
    • Painter-Kamalchand
    • Presently – in Jaisalmer Museum.
  2. Suparsvnath Charitam :- 
    • Illustrated texts – Hirachand
    • Mokal (1422-23 A.D. ). 
    • Devkula Gate. Delwara
    • Presently – Saraswati Museum (Jaipur) 
    • Pure beginning – 1500 AD
    • Beginning – Apabhramsha period
      • Ajanta, Kashmir, Gujarat, Jain style
(c) Devgarh painting style :- 
  • Started:- In 1680, at the time of Dwarikadas Chundawat
  • “Shridhar Andhare” gave importance to this painting.
  • Devgarh painting style = mixture of Mewar + Marwar + Dhudhaad.
  • Color = green + yellow
  • Maximum development of Devgarh painting style = during the time of Jai Singh.
  • famous paintings:- 
    • (i) Pictures of Moti Mahal
    • (ii) Mural paintings of the Oberi of Azara.
  • Famous painters:- Baijnath, Chaukha, Bakhta etc. |

(3) Dhudhod painting:- 

(A) Amer/Jaipur:-
  • Beginning at the time of Mansingh.
  • Pictures from “Rajmnama” (Persian translation of Mahabharata)
  • During the time of Mija king Jai Singh, more pictures of Shri Krishna were made.
  • Suratkhana:- During the time of Sawai Jai Singh
    • Sahibram started life-size painting during the time of Ishwari Singh.
  • Pictures of Pundik Haveli = time of Madho Singh
  • features:- 
    • Colour = red, yellow, saffron, green
    • Red color at the corners.
  • Most influenced by the Mughal style.
  • Pictures of men without beards and faces.
  • Life-size depiction – garden depiction (mural painting)
  • Illustrations of Elephants – Pictures of Shri Krishna
  • Major painters :- 
    • Lalji, Kushala, Ramjidas
(B) Alwar:- 
  • Vinay Singh’s time:- Golden period of Alwar painting
  • “Illustration of Gulista book” = Baldev
  • “Painting on ivory” = Mulchand 
  • “Illustration of the book named Kokshastra” – By Shivdan Singh.
  • features:-
    • (i) Use of smooth colours 
    • (ii) Make vines on any 
    • (iii) Vaishya, Yogasana, miniature painting famous
(C) Uniara Painting:- Tonk
  • A mixture of Dhundhad + Bundi painting.
  • Major painters:- Dhima, Bhim, Mirbaksh, Kashi, Ramlakhan
    • Illustration of feminine and masculine gathering.
(D) Shekhawati Painting: Mural paintings of Havelis
  • Use of blue colour
  • European influence
  • Jogidas’s student = Udaipurwati
    • Umbrella murals = Deva Chitrakar
    • “Open Air Art Gallery” = Nickname

(4) Hand Painting:-

( i ) Bundi painting:-
    • beginning at the time of Surjan
    • Umaid Singh’s time = golden period
      • Depiction of Umaid Singh hunting a wild boar
    • Speciality:- 
      • use of green colour
      • nature illustration more
      • More influence of Mewar style

“Bundi Fort” = is famous for wall paintings.

    • Bananas, dates,
    • More depiction of the lake.

Prominent painters:- Ahmed, Sadhuram, Ramlal, Surjan

Illustration on Matiram’s book = “Rasraj”.
Pictures of Raga-Ragini.
(ii) Kota painting: Started during the time of Ram Singh
    1. Umaid Singh’s time = golden period
    2. Pictures of Lord Krishna
    3. Jhala Haveli (Kota) = Famous for wall paintings.
    4. tree =
      •  dates
    1. animals-birds = 
      • lion and duck
    1. features:- 
      • female beauty
      • Depicting hunting scenes.
      • Women were shown hunting animals.
    1. Illustration of Ragamala = Robber. Dalu painter.

Modern painters of Rajasthan

(1) Ramgopal Vijayvargiya = First organized a picture exhibition.
(2) Govardhan Lal Baba = “Chitera of Bhils” Picture = Procession 
(3) Saubhagya Mal Gehlot = “Need Ka Chitera” (Jaipur)
(4) Parmanand Choyal = “Chitera of buffaloes” (father of modern art)
(5) Jagmohan Mathodia = “Dog’s Chitera” (Dog)
(6) Kundan Lal Misri = Painting of Maharana Pratap (Father of Indian painting)
(7) Devkinandan Sharma = Nature Illustration (The Master of Nature and Living Objects)
(8) Bhursingh Shekhawat = “Chitera of the village” (Portrait of countrymen)
(9) Tilak Geetai:- Major painter of the Kishangarh style – Recently received Padmashree award.
(10) Phad Illustration = Pradeep Mukherjee
(11) Portrait of Meera on a mustard seed = Kishan Sharma (Begun)
(12) Chitera of tangible or intangible = Sunil 

Depiction of heroine’s eyes in different painting styles:-

    1. Like a fish = Mewar painting style
    2. Almond-like = Marwar
    3. Eyes like lotus petals = Kishangarh
    4. Tirdhi and Chakor Akhe = Nathdwara
    5. Deer-like eyes = Kota
    6. Like the address of mango = Bundi
    7. Mrignayani = Bikaner
    8. Pisces-like eyes = Alwar
    9. Big and fish-like eyes = Jaipur

Organizations working on the development of painting:-

    1. Marking = Bhilwara
    2. Chitera = Jodhpur 
    3. Dhora = Jodhpur
    4. Progressive Artist Group = Udaipur 
    5. Takhman – 28, Pag = Udaipur 
    6. Dimensions, Kalavrit = Jaipur 
    7. Tulika Artists Council = Jaipur
    8. Creative Artist Group = Jaipur

Major painting museums of Rajasthan :- 

    1. Pothikhata = Jaipur
    2. Chitrashala = Bundi
    3. Saraswati Bhandar = Udaipur
    4. Jin Bhadsuri Granth Bhandar = Jaisalmer
    5. Man Book Light = Jodhpur
    6. Kota Museum
    7. Alwar Museum 
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