Religion and the visual arts are intimately related. While neither of the two have had the privilege of a definition that does not succumb to the ravages of history, there are a number of eerie similarities between them. Both religion and painting are thoroughly annealed into the human psyche. Within a particular culture, the distinctions that set them apart are indecipherable. Their culturally embedded survival in the secular and rational societies of today is as much of an enigma. History suggests that every religion has made somewhat of a choice between the written word and the painted image. It is theological and legalistic vs the intuitive and the spiritual; like Calvinism as opposed to Eastern Christianity. The Hindu dharma has been a distinguished example of the latter, what with painting offering the dharmic texts more than mere illustration. Painting - an element of the 'sundaram' of the tripartite description of Hinduism as satyam-shivam-sundaram, which means aesthetics - lends the Hindu religion with much-needed insight and expression.
In this section, you will find exquisite illustrations of religious texts such as the epics and the Puranas, to peerless expressions of personal devotion on the part of the artist. From visual folklore captured in masterful brushstrokes to abstract portrayals of deities, the collection is one-of-a-kind. Watercolours and oils of a wide range of sizes to suit your space fill the collection. Vivid depictions of the Indian landscape - undulating hills, luscious tropical skies, verdure - would add to your space a sense of calm and fulfilment that the religions of the intuitive-spiritual kind strive to propagate. Depending on the subject in question, the colours employed set off the mood to perfection - soothing pastels for paintings that tell a story, vibrant hues for the wrathful deities. Superlative workmanship characterises them all.
Q1. What are the rules
The Chitrasutra, an
authority on the Indian art
of painting that forms a part of the holy Vishnudharmottara Purana describes
the six limbs or components of a masterpiece in painting. These attributes are
known as “Shadaanga” (Shada- six, anga-limbs) which are ancient rules laid down
by masters in art and aesthetics. Rupabheda (perception of the form), Pramanam
(measurements), Bhava (emotional expression), Lavanya Yojnam (beauty placed in
the composition), Sadrishyam (true-to-life visual narration), and
Varnakabhangam (the process of coloring and drawing the elements), when
followed to perfection, form the rules of painting as per the Chitrasutra.
Q2. What are the two
main types of painting in India?
There are as many styles
of paintings in India as there are states and cultures. Every region and ethnic
group creates art to display their material and spiritual beliefs giving rise
to the gigantic treasure of Indian
paintings. However, in the modern world, Indian paintings can be broadly
categorized as a) spiritual or religious paintings,
which have divine elements and figures as their subjects, and b) non-religious
paintings, whose subject matter ranges from natural sceneries, images of the
human environment, everyday life, to modern, abstract paintings.
Q3. What is the purpose
of Indian painting?
Indian artworks are
unique in their characteristic feature, of always having a well-defined purpose
behind their creation. Indian paintings are mindfully created pieces of art,
which serve a variety of purposes, which can be divided into a) religious
purposes- when the paintings are used in the place of worship, temples, or
spaces as representations of Hindu gods and goddesses
and other divine beings and b) non-religious purposes- which employ Indian
artworks for their aesthetic quality, as items of artistic value used to
decorate the space and add color to the environment.
Q4. What is Hindu art called?
Hindu art is the term
used to describe all the artistic traditions that display the beliefs and
practices of Hinduism. Temple complexes and other buildings constructed on the
principles of Hinduism come under the umbrella term- “Hindu architecture” or
“Hindu temple architecture” (हिंदू वास्तुकला). Similarly, idols of Hindu gods and
goddesses are called “Hindu sculpture” or हिंदू मूर्तिकला.
Q5. Where does Hindu art come from?
According to Hindu
traditions, Hindu art came from the great sage Narayana, who drew a celestial
beauty, Urvashi on his body and imbibed her with life. This is how the first
painting (Chitra) came into being. Vishwakarma, the sculptor of Hindu gods,
learned the technique of Hindu art from the sage, from whom all the artists and
craftsmen received training of creating art. Hindu art tradition in historical
terms has emerged from the coinage of royal dynasties, relief sculptures, stone
and metal icons, and Hindu temple architecture in ancient India.
Q6. What are the characteristics of Hindu art?
An “ativa chitram”-
superb art is described in the Chitrasutra to have smooth and clear lines,
eye-catching colors, attire that is appropriate to the country in which the art
is situated, and well-balanced proportions. Besides these qualities shared
between all forms of Indian art, Hindu art can be characterized by its emphasis
on metaphysical and religious themes, use of simple symbols and subjects to
convey complex ideas, exquisite features of all the subjects, colors, and
attire that complement the persona and mood of the subject and embellishments
suitable to the theme shown in the artwork.
Email a Friend