Tag-Archive for » Indian Art «

Mughal Love Paintings

Friday, April 30th, 2010 | Author:

Mughal paintings are greatly admired and praised for its richness, texture and innovativeness. They were in a different league. Mughal paintings were very stylish and unique. One of the important sub-genres of Mughal paintings was Mughal love paintings. These paintings are very fascinating and will capture your imagination like never before. They had splendid themes and unique styles. One striking aspect about Mughal love paintings is that, they don’t really conform to realism. Imagination and creativity played a much bigger role than realism. However, the themes of these paintings stayed true to periods they were made in.

Mughal love paintings are wonderful illustration of the Mughal era. They give us a glimpse of what that period was all about. The cultures, art, concept of love etc portrayed in these paintings are true specimen of that era. What makes Mughal love paintings even more striking is the unique blend of Indian and Persian style. Themes were provocative as well as informative. Some of the most common themes of love paintings were, love, lovers, courtly lovers in intimate positions, failed love and lovers in a state of despair. The paintings proved to be of immense help to the historians. The artworks are full of luxury, colorful themes, sensuality and physical beauty.

Mughal love paintings give us a glance into the love lives of the kings and queens. Mughal King Jahangir was instrumental in encouraging the love paintings. He had a keen artistic sense. ‘Jahangirnama’ had some of the most amazing paintings reflecting the wonderful art taste of the king. There were renowned Mughal painters who excelled in making love paintings. Govardhan was one of the most famous artists of that era. Similarly, Ustad Mansur created huge impact as a Mughal painter during the 17th Century. The popularity of Mughal love paintings is not just restricted to Indian boundaries. They are loved, appreciated and admired all over the world.

Art Museums in India

Monday, March 22nd, 2010 | Author:

An art museum is a place which reflects the true rich cultural heritage of a country. These art museum exhibits the works of art, usually visual art. The most common art work which is exhibited at art museums is paintings apart from Photographs, sculptures; illustrations etc. many art museums also display applied arts objects. Art museums are encyclopedia of cultural knowledge of a country. Not only they display wonderful art works but they also provide plethora of knowledge about the arts and artists. India, a country with rich cultural tradition and history also has many art museums. Most of these Indian art museums have a prize a collection of great art works.

img_1245937479_6036_newdelhi_culture_ngmaThe National Gallery of Modern Art also known as NGMA, New Delhi. It also has branches in Mumbai and Bangalore. This is the foremost art museum in India. NGMA has amazing collection of almost 15000 art works. The prized collection of NGMA includes works of Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher gill, Gaganendranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose to name a few. Not only that, NGMA also had foreign artists’ collection like that of Thomas Daniell and Pablo Picasso.

Goa State Museum is another famous Indian art museum. It has numerous art works collection such as Sculptures, Christian arts, Banerji arts, art works of Religious Expression, Menezes Braganza arts and Contemporary art works.

The Government Museum and Art Gallery is situated in Chandigarh. One of the prestigious museums in India, it has multiple portraits collection, architecture classics, ancient indian and gandhra sculptures, amazing section of indian miniature paintings, metal sculptures, Medieval Indian sculptures and tempting works of contemporary arts.

salar-jung-museum_1Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad is one of the foremost art museums in the country. It has built its reputation on great collections of European Paintings & sculptures, Mughal Miniatures, Japanese Silk Paintings, Chinese Porcelain, Carpets, rare manuscripts, Clocks, Double figure by Italian sculptor G.H Benzoni, Sculpture of Veiled Rebecca, Musical clock, jade crafted knifes of Jehangir & Nurjahan and few famous European paintings like ‘Venice’, ‘Soap Bubbles’ etc. it has several galleries and all of them possess distinct collections.

Victoria Memorial Museum, Kolkata has a rich collection of paintings, sculptures and other art works displaying cultural diversity of Kolkata. Apart from the above mentioned museums there are several others and each one of them having a distinct and wonderful assortment of various art works.


Sunday, December 20th, 2009 | Author:

amitava6aw1016d3pf_bigWorking with a variety of mediums such as watercolours, oils, and pastels, Amitava has painted his thoughts yet camouflaging something which makes the spectator want to dig deeper in the canvas.


Amitava’s earlier works saw gentleness and acquiescence however; his recent paintings depict the violence and apathy of modern times. He has portrayed his thoughts and feelings evoked by his observations of the life around him. The artist feels that his paintings are a way that he gets a chance to express his thoughts. He says “The basic concept of my work is life around me. Throughout my life, I have been an urbanite and have reacted to anything that has happened – either political or cultural. But obviously, my paintings are my thoughts and I think through them. Painting to me has become a kind of a language.”




amitava_97cm7030rw_bigBorn in 1947 in Delhi, Amitava graduated from the Delhi College of Art. He experimented with a few styles of painting and sketching. What is remarkable is the fact that through all his paintings, there is one common striking quality that comes through – stress on background and the layers of colours laid on the surface through which the images emerge. Amitava feels that it is through details that he defines his space in the painting. His work is based on situations where man is both the creator and the destroyer. Amitava creates a world that is natural and man made at the same time. It is way he uses different elements to create an environment that intrigues the spectators. With keen observation and sympathetic approach, Amitava highlights the inner struggle of humans. Off late, his work portrays aggression as Amitava feels how man has been isolating himself in this materialistic world. 

Stained Glass Art

Friday, December 18th, 2009 | Author:

Those deeply interested in art and crafts must have heard of Stained glass art. It is a very colorful medium of expression for amateurs as well as professional artists. Many people are indulged in stained glass art as a serious hobby. This art from has several interesting aspects. One needs to be aware of those aspects that open a completely new dimension of stained glass art. Elements like how to cut the glass, foiling heavily textured glass, grinding, soldering (flux application and filling gaps, burnishing, etc.), and finishing (application of patina) etc very rudimentary to the whole craft form. One will also need to be aware of zinc farming and lamp photography to understand the true significance of this unique art. Many artists have reached to the level where they can decide the price of the finished works.

Large sheets of glasses are cut in the beginning steps. Curves are made with tapping techniques and serious practitioners of the craft even learn to cut inside a deep curve. This is a thorough process and takes discipline and patience. Grinding glass is another useful thing to learn here. One also needs to smooth up the rough edges of the glass. Then, there is soldering process that is actually very brief in nature. Then glass is centered where spaces are created between the glass pieces.

One of the crucial steps is Patina application that is relatively easy. One can witness stained glass art in products such as boxes, lamps, and other decorative objects. When it comes of lamps, one can see beautiful pieces of Panel lamps, Styrofoam mold lamps; fiberglass mold lamps etc. stained glass art is a process where one needs to be very patient. Things might not turn out as expected initially but sooner than later, with due practice, artist will surely master it.

K. Laxma Goud

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009 | Author:

laxma_912cc1111oy_bigGoud has a rustic charm of his own. He is versatile and experiments with a lot of different mediums in which he has been successful. Goud has used various mediums such as watercolours, pastels, gouache, glass painting, and even sculpturing in bronze and terracotta. Laxma Goud, using the simple art of sketching also creates wonders. He feels that possibilities are immense once you know the correct use of a particular medium.


Looking at Goud’s work, one feels that it is highly raw and rustic. Each portrait be it a man or a woman has a strong expression on their face. Also, his work has a strong Indian base that represents Indian ethos. Each character be it a sculpture or a painting has a powerful individual existence and the aspect of male and female sexuality is also highlighted. Goud’s strokes are highly casual and rough. This gives the canvas a very raw appeal which is quite exuberant in its own way. Goud’s work demonstrates the south Indian rural element of the country especially the way the woman is wearing her bindi. Sometimes it feels that Goud is recreating paintings from his childhood as if they are frozen in his mind.


Born in 1940 in Nizampur, Andhra Pradesh, K. Laxma Goud completed his diploma in drawing and painting from the Government School of Art and Architecture, Hyderabad, in 1963. He then went on to study Mural Painting and Printmaking at the Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University, Baroda, from 1963 to 1965. Today, the artist lives and works on his own in Hyderabad. Recently, Goud has worked on a series of landscapes in vivid colors with the theme of his youth spent in rural Andhra Pradesh. Like most of the artist’s work, these are generally executed in a miniature format this is probably because the viewer can connect directly with the work.

Phulkari Art

Thursday, December 10th, 2009 | Author:

The state of Punjab has a significant place in the history of India. It is not only a happening place but also totally vibrant and bubbling with energy. Punjab is known for Sikh temples, lush green farms, Maake di roti and Bhangra. The folk music of Punjab is very popular and now it has also acquired international fame. Punjabi dance and song are popular all over the country and have been made even more happening by the Indian residents living abroad. Not many pople know, Punjab is also considered very rich for its craft forms. One form of art that has been in existence since ages in Punjab is Phulkari art. It is primarily a handiwork of the female folks of Punjab. The literal meaning of phulkari is flowering. In this craft, embroidery of the flowering patterns on dupattas, shawls and other garments are performed.

The evolution of this art occurred because of enthusiasm shown by the women. Men used to work outdoors and women stated to develop this craft in the sixteenth century. It was quite amateur during the initial era but by the end of 19th century, it became a developed craft. The Phulkari designs make clothes very beautiful and appealing. When the designer stitches are made on clothes, the prepared piece is called Bagh. Silk yarn that is also called as pat is used as thread.

Several colors like golden, yellow, crimson, orange, green, blue and pink etc are used in Phulkari. Design options are plenty. From geometrical designs to natural patterns, one can witness plethora of wonderful designs. Figures of flowers, leaves, birds, animals and humans can also be seen in this art form. Phulkari designs have religious significance as well.

Haren Vakil

Monday, November 30th, 2009 | Author:

Born in Mumbai in 1940, Haren Vakil is one of the upcoming Indian contemporary artists. The artist has had many solo shows in Canada as well as in India. Haren holds a degree in Architecture as well as a post graduate diploma from the Victoria College of Art, Canada. Haren worked as an architect and urban designer in India and the Netherlands.


Harn Vakil’s work is something that is surrealistic and striking. In fact in one of the interviews he has stated “My intent is to produce images which evoke wonder, surprise and amusement.” His art work takes you into a world that is full of fantasy. What is particularly interesting about this artistic personality is the way in which he intertwines reality and dream like situations. There are a lot many situations where you can see the artist’s interest especially in music painted on the canvas. Haren is particularly passionate about jazz and this can be seen in his work. In fact, he admits that he is influenced by his background in architecture and his experiences of various cultures.


Vakil’s work is pleasant and he takes us through images that are out of context. He uses certain objects and places them in situations one wouldn’t think of.  He uses bold bright colours with expressions on objects that leave you in amusement. Most of the images use monochromatic colours that are multicultural with diverse meanings.


Haren’s recent exhibitions include one held at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, in 2005; ‘Figure it Out’ at Fran Willis Gallery, Victoria, in 2003; and at Gallery 1248, Victoria, in 2001, 2000 and 1999.


Ancient Indian art

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 | Author:

Art in ancient India began with rock paintings especially in caves where men and women in the primitive time lived. The ancient Indian art showed that the people who actually created this art were highly accomplished and artistically oriented which developed a rich culture. One could see aesthetic sense and skilled craftsmanship in the architecture and artifacts found during excavations on these sites. This ancient Indian art also revealed a detailed understanding of human and animal anatomy on deep study. Ancient Indian temple architecture, murals, sculptures depict the nature of ancient Indian art. Each phase was unique in the field of architecture, painting, literature and art. Different influences both external and internal drove the evolution of Indian art from time to time and place to place. Hindus, Buddhists, Mughals and the British, all ruled over India in different phases and influenced its art.  In ancient Indian art, symbolism is of great value. Indian art is also unique in terms of its varied metaphors, symbols of Gods, Goddesses, philosophies and visual imagery. 


Each period in India was characterized by special features in painting and architecture. Indian artists were primarily concerned with the philosophical aspect of their visual expression. Ancient Indian art is full of creativity and cultural expression. Symbols were used as tools of artistic expression to visualize abstract ideas and diverse philosophy.


Ancient India laid a great foundation for art to flourish and develop in the country. Ancient Indian religion also played an important role in visual philosophy which also helped the art to develop and flourish in a diverse pattern.


Indian contemporary artists: Jitish Kallat

Monday, September 21st, 2009 | Author:

jitish-kallat As we are trying to cover emerging artists who remain unknown hitherto, the next name in the series is Jitish Kallat. He has earned a name for himself in the highly competitive and choosy world of Indian art. The way, he has emerged on the horizon of Indian art is truly praiseworthy. His prime plank is autobiographical mode that he uses in his works. Many critics may find it obsessive but yet there is a certain appeal to the way he uses self image in his paintings as the main protagonist. To quote him, “My art is more like a researcher’s project who uses quotes rather than an essay, with each painting necessitating a bibliography” clearly outlines his philosophy towards his work. He explores several aspects of his life in his works. His favorite themes include his personal relationships, death, time and relation with ancestry.

Jitish Kallat also excels in his method of painting. His method is quite economical and he prefers to focus on abstract form of paintings. His narrative is quite strong and he often takes help of visual materials that appeal to his senses. Images tend to float in his art works and it’s almost like a complex web work. The mysterious part of his painting emerges from abstract form where viewers have to solve the puzzle. Everyone is free to make his own interpretation and it is u to the viewer to decode the theme of the art work. His paintings are dual in nature and comprehending it as a single theme seems to be a tough ask.

While taking care of titles he uses texts that incorporate element of humor in his paintings. His art works are truly a treat to watch and understanding the theme is even more interesting. 

Indian contemporary artists: Vivan Sundaram

Monday, September 14th, 2009 | Author:


Among the exhaustive list of talented contemporary artists, name of Vivan Sundaram stands out. A true talent he is equally efficient in painting and sculpting. What sets him apart from the crowd is his approach towards painting. He is not your predictable drawing room artist. He would rather focus upon completing multidimensional projects that invite audience participation. That sounds quite interesting, no! He has often performed in an open-stage theatre where performer and spectator can indulge in live interactions.  The best part of such performance is continuous feedback and multiple meanings evoked by the performer. In different words, that also provides an altogether different perspective of one’s work.

Art is a subject that does not have any fixed meaning. It is always subject to different interpretations of diverse range of spectators and interesting part is all of them are correct in their analysis. It is a huge compliment for an artist if his work is considered as a cultural product and not just an object to be hanged in the drawing room. Sundarama is one such artist who has managed to evoke fascinating reactions from the audiences. His work is not merely an imagination of unforeseen realities. It is rather concerned with socio-political history and the surrounding environment. The live interaction signifies viewers can observe and let their thought process run wildly and respond accordingly. The object they react to could be a painting or enclosures or a crafted construction.   

Sundarama makes art works that invite reactions. That is quite a unique approach and very rarely seen on art landscape. Sundarama often redesigns, transforms and renews his works in a new fashion and presents it to the world. Considering his fresh approach towards the art works, he is definitely going to stay and excel.