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Since 2000, has been working in the niche of Indian handicrafts and bridging the gap between the traditional Indian art forms and its admirers across the globe. Over the years the patrons of and have grown significantly. With the growing demand for information and updates on Indian handicrafts, we are introducing a monthly newsletter for our users.

The newsletter would be aimed to inform you about the traditional art forms in Indian handicrafts, new content and product inclusions on the website.

All the paintings shown in this newsletter can be viewed in a larger size by clicking on them. These paintings are also available for sale at along with many other such pieces of art.

miniature_painting_raga_kalingaPaintings are visual creations of the emotional and perceptive concepts of a culture, articulated in religious and secular themes. Indian Painting traditions have existed since primordial times. The rock paintings of Bhimbetaka caves, 40 km south of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, India, eloquently trace the roots of painting in India. These paintings in red, green, and white hues are 25,000-20,000 old and are witness to the evolution of civilization.


Painting traditions in India have centered on naturalism, limitless self-expression, liveliness, finesse and sophistication. The natural colors derived from the pigments of minerals, vegetables, animal products and lampblack were used to provide a visual appeal to the paintings.

miniature_painitngMughal Miniatures found expression in the late 16th century from the reign of Emperor Akbar who was a trained painter himself. Mughal workshops produced illustration projects like Harmza-Nama, Tuti- nama, Akbar-nama and Tuzuk I-Jahangiri. The Mughal miniatures were aristocratic, individualistic and strong in portraiture. Plush court scenes, hunting expeditions of royalty, flowers and animals were the recurrent images in these paintings.

In South India around 16th and 17th centuries Manuscript Illustrations were in vogue. The best example is of illustrated Mahabharata (epic depicting the conflict between Pandavas and Kauravas) executed in conservative style.

miniature_painting_raga_bhaskarCompany School developed in the 18th century where Indian artists produced paintings capturing Indian scene in all its aspects, including natural history and human society for British tastes. Many English men and women had settled in South India during the time of Carnatic and Mysore Wars and the exoticness of India struck them. The Indian painters trained in classical traditions like Tanjore and Mughal schools recorded ‘picturesque’ India for these new patrons. The popular subject themes were portraits, landscapes, monuments, flora, fauna and scenes of everyday life. With the emergence of photography in the 19th century, which facilitated effective documentation of India by the English themselves, the Company School received a setback.

The illustrated manuscripts or miniatures from the western and eastern India marked their appearance in the 11th century AD and employed symbolic use of colors. These manuscripts were made of palm leaf folios.minaiture_painting_dancing_shiva The use of long narrow palm leaf was gradually replaced by the introduction of paper in the 14th century.

In the early 16th century, Chaurapanchasika group notable for its flatness, bold lines, colors, and vigorous rhythms emerged. The Chaurapanchasika group consists of Chaurapanchasika series itself (A Sanskrit Love Poem called Fifty Verses of a Love Thief), the Gita Govinda (Sanskrit devotional poem of Jayadeva celebrating Krishna amorous exploits), Chandayana(poem on the romance of the lovers Laurak and Chanda, composed in East India in 14th century) and Bhagavata Purana.



miniature_painting_sitar_painting_with_gold_workThe late 16th and early 17th centuries saw the rise of the Rajput paintings in the region of Rajasthan and the Hill States of Punjab. Mewar, Bundi-Kota Kalam, Jaipur, Bikaner, Kishangarh, Basholi, Bilaspur, Chamba, Guler, Mandi and Kangra were main centers of this school. Hills, valleys, palaces, forts, gardens, court scenes, religious processions and the scenes from the life of Lord Krishna, Shiva and Durga were the popular themes of the paintings. Many of these were also based on Ragas or musical codes of Indian classical music. The artists personified different Ragas in pictorial images conveying a specific mood and sentiment and a new category of miniature paintings - the Ragamala - emerged. Ragmalas, Rasikpriya, Amarusataka, Bhagvata Purana, and Ramayana are few of the significant works from this school.

Meanwhile in 16th century Deccan India, indigenous style showed fusion with Persian and Turkish painting traditions. The consequential Deccan style grew and flourished in Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golconda, and Aurangabad. Some of the notable works from this school are Tarif-I Husayan Shahi Manuscript, Ragamala, Nujum al-Ulam, Portarits of Sultan Ibrahim Adil Shah II and Kulliyat from Golconda.

miniature_painting_peacockThe Kashmir school of miniature resurged in the l9th century and found expression in the Sharada manuscripts, horoscopes, folk-art works like the krula pacch, nechipatra (almanac) etc besides individual paintings.

Due to the changed political equations in the late 19th and 20th centuries, the miniature artists lost out the courtly patronage and struggled to make their ends meet. Nevertheless many artists continued with their ancestral occupation due to their innate passion for the art. However today, absence of support structure and their own personal needs have compelled many of the talented artists to embrace other lucrative professions.

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Explore the colors and images of incredible India at this rare online gallery of Indian Paintings, consisting magnificent Madhubani paintings, mysterious Warli paintings, Patachitras, Tribal Paintings, Thangka Paintings and also contemporary Indian art paintings.