The Art Of Paintings
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Despite great gaps in our knowledge of continuities in history, the story of Indian painting has to begin with the art of primitive man which has survived in rock shelters and caves in places like Hoshangabad, Mirzapur , Bhimbetka. Stone age painting belonging to the Magdelanian phase (15,000 B.C.) have been discovered in India.

The epoch of the Indus Valley Civilization (3000B.C.-1500B.C.) was one of elegant urban culture, but since the superstructures have not survived, no murals have come down. Paintings on pottery, although reflect a keen sense of painting among the Indus valley people.

The earliest painting of Ajanta date back to the 1st century B.C. and the latest to the 8th century. The spirit of the compassionate Buddha is their inspiration. The Jataka tales elaborated the vicissitudes of these incamations and the Ajanta artists painted them in sinuos lines and sensitive colours. Ajanta became a fountainhead of Asian painting and murals with the clear stamp of style.

Meanwhile, painting had come down from the extended mural surface to the miniature dimension of the manuscripts. It further spread to western India and is seen in numerous illuminated manuscripts.

Though the imperial court of Akbar was headed by artists from Persia, Mughal painting is not a provincial school of Persian painting. Each painting was most often a cooperative effort of Indian and Persian artists. Akbar even commissioned the translation and illustration of Indian text like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Rajput painting on the other hand presented in line and colour the great myths and legends of the land, the story of Rama and Krishna, of Bhagvat Gita abd Gita Govinda.

A decline followed the close of the Rajput phase. In the British era, western academism became popular. The revivalist school, headed by Abanindranath Tagore, was nationalistic in inspiration. The four pioneers of modern painting in India are Gaganendranath Tagore, Amrita Shergil, Jamini Roy and Rabindtranath Tagore. They gave Indian painting a charter for free variations on naturalism, abstraction and expressionism.

A better perspective to study the painting forms of the whole of the nation is to divide it into various heads such as the Paintings of North India,   South India,   East India,   West India,   Central and Deccan India and under some special captions such as the Rajasthani Paintings,   Mughal Paintings and the   Colonial and Modern Paintings  



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