Marwar School of Paintings
The paintings developed in the royal families of Kishangarh, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Pali and Ghanerao are called Marwar School collectively. The important & relevant features of this school are as follows:
The Jodhpur style originated taking clue from the art of the Mandore Gate. Mandore, as we know was a 13th century capital of the Rathors, who later founded Jodhpur in 1459 as their new capital. These paintings have a lots of sand dunes depicted along with thorny bushes, deer, camel, crow and horses. These paintings have a folk character and are relatively lesser influenced by the Mughal traditions.
Bikaner style has more mughal features than any other style of the Rajasthani school of paintings. This was mainly because, many of the mughal artists were employed at Bikaner. The subject matters are portraits, baramasa, Ragamala, Bhagwavt Purana and Krishnalilas.
Kishangarh Style (Kishangarh School of Painting)
Kishangarh was a very small state but a very different type of artistic development took place here. This insignificant state was founded by Kishan Singh in the initial years of 17th century. The tremendous development of art took place under the local ruler Sawant Singh, a scholar, a critic and a renowned poet and well versed in Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian; who himself was a poet and used to write with a pen name Nagari Das. Over fifty books including the ‘Rasachandrika‘, ‘Bihari Chandrika’, ‘Utsavmala‘, ‘Padamuktavali‘ and ‘Rasik Ratnavali’ are some of the literary works accomplished by Nagari Das aka. Sawant Singh.
The story of Nagari Das’s life is also very interesting. He sat on the local throne at the age of 49 years. He was an ardent devotee of Krishna but carried in his heart the love for ‘Bani Thani’ a maid in his step-mother’s household. The love was so deep that he started worshipping her as Radha. This is how he called himself Nagri Das, literally servant of Radha.
Nagari Das took his poetic inspirations from a painter in the town called Nihal Chand, who was inimitable master in depicting the Radha and Krishna. Nihal Chand was the court painter of Nagri Das. He painted the celebrated Bani Thani. Sawant Singh was so deeply fell in love with his imaginary lover that he abdicated the throne within a span of 9 years to take recourse in Brindavan and worship his lover Radha as Bani Thani and himself live like his lord Krishna. He remained as a hermit in Brindavan until his death. Nihal Chand remained a painter even after his death for at least 16 years.
Main features of the Kishangarh Style:
- Subject matter of Kishangarh school is widely varied and includes hunting scenes, Court scenes, Portraits of Kings, Nawabs, Emperors and Saints .
- The romantic life of Radha and Krishna, influenced by the Geet-Govinda of Jaydev is one of favourite subjects of the Kishangarh painters.
- Stories from the Bhagvat Puran and scenes from Bihari Chandrika by Nagri Das were also subject for the Kishangarh artists.
- The most common theme in Rajasthani and Pahari School, Nayak-Nayikabheda has been most beautifully depicted in Kishangarh. Here, mostly Nayak is Krishna and Nayika is Radha. They have been shown as lovers in beautiful natural setting.
- The chief attraction of Kishangarh School is the depiction of women. No where in any Rajasthani School, the women have been so beautifully painted. The faces are soft without being heavy and dry. Their faces are long with high and sloping foreheads, pointed long nose, bulging out well-cut-lips and long chins.
- The eyes have got a special place in Kishangarh School. A lock of hair hanging near the ear is specially found in Kishangarh style only.
Bundi style of Painting
Bundi style developed during the times of Rao Surjan Singh. The location of Bundi was such that it favoured immigration of the artists from all sides.
These paintings exhibit pointed nose, thick chubby cheeks, small stature and use of brilliant red and yellow colors. The main subjects of these paintings are Krishna Leela, Rama Leela, Baramasa, hunting scenes, scenes of court, festivals , elephant, horses, battle scenes, horse race, flowers, trees etc. The best example of Bundi paintings is the Chitrashala made during the times of Maharao Ummed Singh.
Kota Style of Paintings
Kota is located only a few miles away from Bundi, yet it developed a different tradition of paintings in the medieval history. The subject matters were though same as that of Bundi.
Jaipur style of Paintings
Jaipur and nearby area including the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan is known as Dhundad region. The Jaipur style of painting started in 17th century. The subject matters of this style are Ragamala, Bhagvat Puran, Durga Mahatmya etc.
By Malwa paintings, we generally refer to the 17th-century paintings centred largely in Mālwa and Bundelkhand. The term Central Indian painting is also used for the same. It was an offshoot of the Rajasthani School. The paintings include a series of the Rasikapriya, Amara Sataka and Ragamala.