Art & Culture – Paintings (Snippets For Prelims) ; posts about Snippets of Art & Culture for prelims quick revision. It does not cover the whole chapter.Going through complete lesson is mandatory. 

Art & Culture


Prehistoric Paintings

  • Bhimbetka, Jogimara, Adamgarh, Mirzapur, Kupagallu.
  • Rock Painting
  • Depiction of hunting and animal scenes, also have some social scenes.
  • This period mainly sees the use of Red color.

Cave Painting

  • Ajanta-Ellora (Maharashtra), Bagh (M.P.) Sittanavasal (T.N.)


  • The wall of the caves have both murals and fresco paintings i.e., painted on wet plaster. They use tempera style, i.e., use of pigments.
  • Buddhist and Hindu religions and mythology were themes. Important among them are Dieing Princes, Mother and child (all at Ajanta)
  • At Sittanavasal, the theme is jaina religion

Pala School

  • In Bengal

  • Illustrations on Palm leaf and paper manuscripts and on the wooden covers.
  • Inspired by Vajrayana school of Buddhism

Lepakshi School

  • In Vijayanagar

  • On temple ceilings
  • Characterized by earth stones and absence of blue color.

Mewar School:

  • In Mewar of Rajasthan

  • Known as Ragamala paintings.
  • Mainly on life of Krishna and his frolic with gopis.

Marwar school

  • In Jodhpur and Nagaur of Rajasthan
  • Influenced by Mughal school

  • Bold expressions with bold eyes
  • Usually depicts Darbar Scenes, horse and elephants.

Kishangarh School

  • A type of Rajasthani painting
  • Lyrical beauty in its content
  • Love scenes of Radha and Krishna

Bundi School:

  • In Kotah and Bundi regions

  • About court scenes, nobles and lovers

Apabhrama School:

  • This School of painting originated either in Mewar of Rajasthan. It is debated.

  • The characteristics of this school are:
  1. Bulging eyes (fish-shaped)
  2. Pointed nose
  3. Double chin
  4. Predominant Chests
  5. Distorted hands and stiff figure
  6. Use of bright and gold colors
  7. Animals and birds represented like toys
  8. Lack of natural scenes
  9. Decorated margins

Mughal Schools

  • Although painting is treated as against Islam, it spread and developed under the Mughals and a new combination of Indo-Persian style developed under them. These paintings also had Buddhist and central Asian and Mongoloid influences.

  • The Characteristics of School are:
  1. use of brilliant colors
  2. variety of themes
  3. ornamentation
  4. realism
  5. Accuracy in line drawing
  6. Details and intricacies
  7. Perspective

Pahari Painting

  • In hill areas of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh. Main theme is love
  • Basohil – famous for primitive vigour and fierce vitality, bold lines and brilliant hot colors.

  • Guler – lyrical and cool depiction of women in the absence of their lovers
  • Kangra – fine and melodious lines with female figures depicting delicate graces of feminism
  • Developed in kangra, Kullu, Chamba and Mandi region of Himachal Pradesh.
  • Subjects of Painting are Gita Govindha, Baghwata Purana, Satsai of Biharilal and Nal Damyanti.

Hyderabadi Style

  • Consists of Bijapuri and Golconda court Paintings.
  • Inspired by Mughal School

  • Potrays royal taste in fruits, scented flowers and pets.

Tanjore Style

  • Famous for its Glass painting

  • Themes related to Vishnu, Shiva and Krishna
  • Paintings made on Jackwood pasted with unbleached cloth.

Mysore paintings

  • Paintings developed in southern Karnataka.

  • Major themes are the depiction of Hindu gods and goddesses.
  • In this paintings ‘gesso paste’ is used which is mixture Zinc oxide and Arabic gum

Madhubani style

  • Developed in Mithila region of Bihar.
  • Common themes are religious motifs of the Hindus, including Krishna, Rama, Durga, Lakshmi and Shiva.

  • Flowers, trees, animals, symbols, etc are used to fill any gaps in the paintings
  • Traditionally, these were painted on walls using rice paste and vegetable colors on a base of cow dung and mud.


  • It is a traditional painting of Odisha
  • Painted on cloth

  • The themes of these paintings are Jagannath and Vaishnava cult, sometimes from Shakti and Shaiva cults.
  • Raghurajpur on Odisha is known for this art form.
  • Pattachitra on palm leaf is known as talapattachitra.

Patua Style:

  • This art developed in Bengal

  • Traditionally these were painted on cloth and told regions stories.
  • These paintings are done on pats or scrolls.

Pithoro style:

  • Gujarat tribal paintings

Kalighat Painting:

  • Developed in Kolkata in 19th Century

  • Water colors were used
  • The Paintings depicted religious note, especially Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Kalamkari paintings

  • Developed in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu

  • Kalam made of sharp pointed Bamboo, the base is cotton fabric while the colors used are vegetable dyes.
  • The Paintings depicts hindu mythology also chartwheel, lotus flower, animals and interlacing patterns of flowers and leaves.

Paitkar Paintings

  • Developed in Jharkhand as scroll painting

  • These Paintings are linked to the social and religious customs including giving alms and holding yajnas.

Tanjore Glass Paintings

  • Its origin can be traced to the downfall of the Vijayanagar when a group of artist migrated to Mysore and Tanjore. It consists of Pictures of child Krishna and other favourite divinities. It uses vivid colors on glass.

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