Monday, June 29th, 2009 | Author:

India has a rich tradition of arts and culture since ancient times. Painting has been in existence since the advent of Indian civilization. Murals belong to the tradition of paintings. The history of murals goes beyond the pages of history. Many experts reckon murals as earliest evidence of Indian paintings. Painting has been accorded the respectful position in several Indian classical texts like Vishnudharmottarapurana and Kamasutra. Many ancient rulers had maintained pictorial depiction of different themes in their backyards. Painting is nothing but medium of expression. It expresses emotions and deepest instinct felt by the artists. These feelings were later on merged with his cultural heritage and social experiences.


The origin of paintings is dated back to pre-historic era when rock wall paintings or cave paintings were in vogue. Also known as murals, they were discovered in central India. Natural materials like animal fat, red ochre, terra verte and chalk were used for color materials. The art works were done on bare rocks or grounds. Themes were often taken from family, community, hunting, festivals or animals. Such themes also give us a clue about how observing the pre-historic men were!


Several prestigious and historical treatises like Silpashastra, Shilparatna, Kashyapashilpa, Vishnudharmottara etc give detailed description of murals. The details also include preparation method and colors of the murals. Techniques have also been in given in these texts but were not followed in strict sense. Artists developed their own sense of creation and added new life to these historical murals. Different eras in Indian history like Mughal rule, Cholas kingdom, North-east region etc have been found with art that has been inspired of rich variety of murals.

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