What is Life in Miniature Project?

Life in Miniature Project is a combination between the Ministry of Culture, National Museum, New Delhi, and Google Arts & Culture.

Who launched the project?

Life in Miniature project was launched by the Union Ministry of Culture in late October 2020.

What is the objective of the project?

The project will allow online viewing of various hundred small-scale paintings (like Royal Saga, the Ramayana, Pahari style paintings) from the National Museum, New Delhi on Google Arts & Culture by people all over the world.

The project highlights upon the importance of the Digital India mission. It also spotlights the role of technology in the conservation of India’s heritage.

What are the technologies used in the project?

The project utilizes technologies like augmented reality, machine learning and digitization with HD robotic cameras. It uses techniques to showcase these exceptional works of art in a supernatural new way.

What is Miniature Painting?

The miniature paintings are colorful handmade paintings. They are very small in size. The main feature of these paintings is intricate brushwork. It gives unique identity.

History of Miniature Painting

Miniature paintings derived in India around 750 A.D. when the Palas ruled over the eastern part of India. These paintings became famous when religious writings were written beneath the images of Lord Buddha.  During the Mughal Empire, the miniature paintings started emerging on a different level.

Pala school:

The initial Indian miniature paintings are associated with the Pala School dating back to the 8th century A.D. This school of painting focused on the symbolic utilization of colors. The themes were frequently taken from the Buddhist tantric rituals.

Odisha School

During the seventh century A.D., the Odisha School of miniature painting came into an existence. Most of the paintings show the love stories of Radha and Krishna. Painting also shows the stories from ‘Gita Govinda’ and ‘Krishna Leela’.

Jain School

Jain School is one of the earliest schools of miniature paintings in India.  The Jain School of painting became popular during 11th century A.D.  During this century, the sacred texts like ‘Kalpa Sutra’ and ‘Kalkacharya Katha’ were portrayed in the form of miniature paintings.

Mughal School

The combination of Indian paintings and Persian miniature paintings results in the Mughal School of miniature painting.  The Mughal style of painting became popular from 16th to 18th centuries, especially during the reign of Akbar.  Scenes from the king court, wildlife, hunting expeditions and battles were frequently shown through these paintings.  Humayun and Jahangir emphasized on paintings that portrayed events from their real life. During Shah Jahan’s reign painters began giving significance to portraiture.

Rajasthani School

As the Mughal miniature paintings fall off. It resulted in the rise of the Rajasthani School.  Rajasthani School of painting can be distributed into different schools depending on the region they were created in – The Mewar School, Marwar School, Dhundar School, Hadoti School, Kangra and Kullu Schools of art are all segments of Rajasthani School of painting.  Similarly the Mughal Emperors, the Rajput rulers were also beloved of art. They gave their patronage to miniature paintings.

Pahari School

Pahari School of miniature painting derived in the 17th century A.D.  These paintings created in the kingdoms of North India, in the Himalayan region.  Affected by the Mughal School and the Rajasthani School of miniature paintings, the Pahari style of paintings prospered in the Jammu and Garhwal regions from the 17th to 19th centuries.

Deccan School

The Deccan School of miniature painting gained popularity in towns like Ahmednagar, Tanjore, Golconda, Hyderabad and Bijapur from the 16th to 19th century A.D.  The Deccan School of miniature painting was largely affected by the rich customs and traditions of the Deccan and the sacred beliefs of Turkey, Persia and Iran.

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