Do you know Miniature Paintings and Krishna Leela depicted in it?

Miniature Paintings

Rajasthan was the first state in India to pioneer miniature paintings. Evolved in the early 15th century, the artistic folk used it primarily used as textual illustrations to Jain texts of Kalpa-Sutras. The art style is reflective of the art styles of Ajanta Murals and Jain art of Gujarat. The art style of the
Rajasthani miniature paintings are a blend of indigenous Rajasthani art forms and the elements of the Ajanta and Gujarat art traditions.
Most miniature paintings from Mewar, depict the initial art style of Rajasthan in its most undiluted form. Bold lines, emotionally charged faces, sharp features, robust figures and also basic bright colours are distinctive features of Rajasthani Miniature paintings.

Every painting, whether portrayed on the walls of palaces, paper, ivory, wooden tablets, textiles and even marble, has a story to tell starting from great adventures, ideal romances, passionate bonds, myriad facial expressions to day to day conducts between royalty as well as the common

Devotional Rajasthani Miniature painting, Image source : Cultural India

The style of Miniature Paintings in Rajasthan

1.Jaipur: Miniature art at Jaipur began during the reign of Sawai Jai Singh. Above all, Jaipur excelled in life-size portraits, depiction of myths, ragas, astrological principles and different amusing and erotic themes. Paintings here generally used a large size canvas, ornate backgrounds and bright gorgeous borders.

Jaipur Miniature Painting, Image source :

Miniature Painting – A Window To Rajasthani Folktales

Do you wish to learn the secrets and techniques of this wonderful art form? Does the thought of learning this art form from renowned Miniature painting artists entice you? Markedly, there is an perfect opportunity. Hop on to Rajasthan Studio’s Masterclass page and pick a workshop session that’s convenient to you and get ready to become a pro artist. Exciting news! Get trained personally from the artist who is adept at it. Hakuna Matata! Get all of it at one click.

What is a Masterclass Workshop?

Rajasthan Studio has specially curated personalized Masterclass Workshops. This ensures the privilege of one to one learning from the expert artists. We only take limited seats in each workshop. Not only you can understand the art technique vividly but also practically do it along. Take back best of the learnt skills and art pieces.

A glimpse from the workshop.
  1. 2.Bikaner: Mughal elements predominate the Bikaner style. This was mainly because the artists who brought the miniature paintings to the city were Mughals from Persia. Depictions of village life, Baramasa, festivals, processions, hunting and the like also have an indigenous touch. Perfect technical execution, maturity of form, elegance and soft colour effects, the widely known ‘neem-kalam’, is in contrast to Rajasthan’s
    bright deep tones, characteristics of the Bikaner miniatures.

Biikaner Miniature Painting, Image source;

3. Jodhpur: The blue city of Jodhpur inherited the art tradition of Pali, which was revived in the early 17th century. This style depicted figures a little more broader. Also, the paintings were not as intricate as their Bikaner counterparts. Jodhpur was excellent in depicting Baramasa, Ramayana, votive images of gods and the scenes of harem life.

Jodhpur Miniature Painting Man Singh, image source: Etsy

Krishna in Miniature Paintings

The story of Radha and Krishna which is best expressed in Bani Thani paintings with a unique style involving exaggerated features such as long necks, almond-shaped eyes and long fingers that convey a sense of divinity to the observer is another example that brings to light the
adaptation of the Persian art form by Indian artists. The creation of the art form Bani Thani has an interesting tale behind it. In Kishangarh kingdom of Rajasthan, during the 18th century, the ruler of the province Raja Sawant Singh had fallen in love with a slave girl whose name was
Bani Thani. He was so inspired by the bond they shared that he ordered his artists to portray them as Radha and Krishna in their miniature paintings. One of the masterpieces of Rajasthani – particularly Kishangarh – miniature paintings is this painting of Krishna and Radha called Nauka Vihar (in the boat of love).

Krishna Leela Miniature painting , Image source : Fine Art America

Rajput painting took birth in the royal courts of Rajputana. While different kingdoms had their own unique styles, common themes include depiction of Hindu epics, Krishna’s life, landscapes, and people. Artists traditionally created miniature paintings in the form of manuscripts or single sheet form. As a result, the creators stored the collection as albums. The artists painted them onto palace walls, fort chambers, and havelis. In keeping with the new wave of popular devotionalism within Hinduism, the subjects principally depicted are the legends of the Hindu cowherd god Krishna and his favourite companion, Rādhā.

In conclusion

Lastly, the style evolved from Western Indian manuscript illustrations, though Mughal influence became evident in the later years of its development. The style explores illustrated scenes from the two major epics of India, the musical modes (ragamalas), and the types of heroines
(nayikas). In the 18th century, court portraits, court scenes, and hunting scenes became increasingly common. Likewise Mughal art, Rājasthānī paintings were meant to be kept in boxes or albums and to be viewed by passing from hand to hand. The technique is similar to that of Mughal painting, though the materials are not as refined and sumptuous.

Also follow Rajasthan Studio on Instagram for more amazing art content. Reach out to us on email at contact[at]rajasthanstudio[dot]com. This blog is curated by Rajasthan Studio and written by Samira sarin.

1 Comment

  1. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your blog and detailed information you present.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t
    the same outdated rehashed information. Wonderful read!

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