Art is something that stimulate thoughts, emotions or ideas through senses. We have different artforms with a wide range of classifications. Painting is one among them which roots in prehistoric times.

The wall painting tradition of India date back to Stone Age. The Bhimbetka caves of Madhya Pradesh houses the oldest among the found. They painted pieces of their life; hunting, social gathering etc. Paintings were in abstract forms with line sketches of humans. We have many other rock cave paintings spread across the Indian subcontinent.

A watershed in the wall painting tradition of India is the Ajanta painting. With Budhist themes predominantly, Ajanta set a landmark with its sinuous curves, compassionate expressions, drooping eyes and colour combinations. Mara Vijaya, Avalokiteshvara and dying princess are worth mentioning among them. Ajanta continues to influence the Indian way of painting even today.

The art of wall painting was not confined to the North. The rich traditions of Nayaka murals and Kerala murals are some of the best of its kind. The Kerala murals, in its bright natural colours, took its themes from epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata mainly. Vadakkumnathan temple and Krishnapuram palace houses the best of Kerala murals.

Other wall painting traditions of India are the tribal wall paintings like the Khond paintings and Patachitra paintings. They mainly fall into the central and eastern parts of the country. They are associated with tribal customs and worship. Many of them are painted to the walls of their dwellings.

Wall paintings are a great source of history. As Andrew Loomis said, “Drawing is vision in paper”. Archeologists and historians regard them as the mirrors towards social life of that time.

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