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Some Facts about Murals

Monday, July 06th, 2009 | Author:

We have already seen some information about origin and history of murals in India. Let’s check the places in India where murals have been discovered. One of the earlier proofs of murals came from caves 9 and 10 of Ajanta near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. According to archeologists, these murals belong to 2nd century BC. The striking features of these murals are decorative motifs, costume details, figure types and attractive compositions. Most of these murals had predominately Buddhists subjects. Ajanta was not the only site to have murals during that era. Other sites with presence of wonderful murals were at Bagh in Madhya Pradesh, and Cave 3 at Badami in Karnataka. Kailsanatha Temple at Ellora and the Jain Cave shrine at Sittannavsal, Tamil Nadu are also known for linear styled murals.


The picturesque location of Ladakh gave civilization aesthetic wall paintings in Alchi and Hemis Monasteries. These murals belong to 11-12th century. Buddhist murals can also be largely seen in gomphas of Tabo Monastery in Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. Mughal era gave India amazing paintings. Mughal style of painting was very much influenced from Persian style and that is clearly reflected in murals and miniatures. Even Rajput School of painting was very much influenced from Mughal style and the effects can be seen wall paintings at places like Deeg, Bundi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Jodhpur and other places in Rajasthan.


South India was always a cultural hotshot. If one tries to go through paintings traditions of India, one need not go far from kingdoms of Cholas, Vijayanagaras and Nayakas. These kingdoms are shining lights of south Indian cultural richness. European style of painting also influenced Indian painting tradition. The examples can be seen in the Deccan art of Bijapur, Hyderabad, and Golconda schools and mural art of Kerala.


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.