Comparison of different schools of Art

India has an unique culture, which has maintained a continuity for thousands of years while adapting itself to ongoing changes at the same time. It is the duty of every Indian to preserve, promote and conserve our cultural heritage and all forms of art and culture.


Art is subjective concept and has no unanimously accepted definition.

We can say that art is the power, skill, ability and talent an individual possesses to express himself or herself.Art is simply your acquired skill to make another person know and understand, what you think and how you feel.”Art is just another word for Expression”.

Mughal Art

Origin: Earlier Persian blend. Became Indian under Akbar

Type: Mostly in miniature form

Themes: Document of life at the Mughal court, battles, hunt, arrival of embassies, festivities

Exceptional Point: Portrait paintings developed under Jahangir

Characteristics: Realism is the keynote of this style

Technique: Artists had made contacts with Western art. Influence can be seen.

Major Artists: Basawan, Daswanth, Kesudasa, Mansur

Major Works: Akbarnama illustrations; rare birds and animals – Falcon (CS Museum, Bombay), Red Blossoms – floral painting

Patrons: Akbar, Jahangir

Pahari Art

Origin: Originated in the sub-Himalayan kingdoms of 19th century.

Type: Mostly done in miniature form

Themes: Love of man for woman. Symbolised by Krishna and Radha

Characteristics: Bold and intense – Basohli. Delicate and lyrical; Tones subdued and lines exquisitely fine – Kangra

Major Artists: Basohli, Guler, Kangra

Patrons: Raja Kripal Singh (Bahsoli)

Rajasthani/Rajput Art

Origin: Early 16th century. Various sub-schools existed

Themes: Strongly influenced by the contemporary literary and musical forms, and draw upon their motifs

Characteristics: Decorate in their composition and colour scheme. Landscape lacks the naturalism of the Mughal school

Technique: Used wider canvas

Major Works: Jodhpur and Nagaur paintings.

Major schools: Malwa, Mewar (Ragamala paintings), Marwar, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Bundi, Kotah

Madhubani/Mithila Art

Origin: Done traditionally by the women in the villages near the town of Madhubani. It originated as floor and wall paintings. Essentially a folk tradition

Themes: Nature and Hindu religious motifs

Exceptional Point: Was originally practiced by Brahmins and Kayasthas. Later SC women also adopted it. But the themes of the two are different. While higher castes depicted mythological themes, SCs experimented with day-to-day scenes.

Characteristics: Two dimensional imagery. Colours derived from plants. No space is left empty. Gaps are filled by painting flowers, plants animals and even geometric shapes.

Technique: Traditionally done as murals on mud walls. Now is also done one cloth, paper and canvas

Major Artists: Jagdamba Devi, Mahasundari Devi

Major schools: Bharni style, Kachni style

Manjusha/Angika Art

Characteristics: Snakes are a prominent feature

Tanjore Art

Origin: 17th century under the patronage of Tanjore’s Maratha rulers

Themes: Usually portrayed deities. Vishnu,Shiva and Krishna

Characteristics: Artists adhered strictly to iconography as these paintings were made for ritual and worship and not for display as is mostly the case today.

Technique: Made on jackwood pasted with unbleached cloth to which a mixture of limestone, chalk powder, gum and honey are applied in layers on a sketch of the icon. Extra coats given to raise some parts of the painting. Jewellery etc are put.

Patrons: Sarabhiji 2, Shivaji 2, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar

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One response to “Comparison of different schools of Art”

  1. avs says :

    Great work.. Thanxs 🙂


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