Indian culture is steeped in its traditions and deep-rooted history and Indian art forms are a mirrored image of that culture. Bursts of colour and vivid mythological descriptions dominate the canvas. The Indian types of paintings have unique origins and history behind them which makes them even more interesting. Indian cultural history spans quite 4,500 years.

History: Indian Types of Paintings

During the Vedic period (c. 1700 – c. 500 BCE), the foundations of Hindu philosophy, mythology, theology, and literature were laid, and lots of beliefs and practices which still exist today, like dhárma, kárma, yóga, and mokṣa, were established. India is notable for its religious diversity, with Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Islam, Christianity, and Jainism among the nation’s major religions. The predominant religion, Hinduism, has been shaped by various historical schools of thought, including those of the Upanishads, the Yoga Sutras, the Bhakti movement, and by Buddhist philosophy. Here are 8 Indian art styles which you ought to realize.

1. Madhubani Painting

Madhubani Painting : Types of Paintings

Madhubani Painting

Bihar Madhubani art (or Mithila painting) is a type of painting, practised within the Mithila region of the Indian subcontinent. This painting is completed with a spread of tools, including fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks and using natural dyes and pigments.

it’s characterised by its eye-catching geometrical patterns.[citation needed] there’s ritual content for particular occasions, like birth or marriage, and festivals, like Holi, Surya Shasti, Kali Puja, Upanayana, and Durga Puja. Origins Madhubani painting (Mithila painting) was traditionally created by the ladies of varied communities within the Mithila region of the Indian subcontinent. It originated from Madhubani district of the Mithila region of Bihar. Madhubani is additionally a serious export centre of those types of paintings.

This painting as a sort of wall art was practised widely throughout the region; the newer development of painting on paper and canvas mainly originated among the villages around Madhubani, and it’s these latter developments that led to the term “Madhubani art” getting used alongside “Mithila Painting.” The paintings were traditionally done on freshly plastered mud walls and floors of huts, but now they’re also done on cloth, handmade paper and canvas.

Madhubani paintings are made up of the paste of powdered rice. Madhubani painting has remained confined to a compact geographic area and therefore the skills are passed on through centuries, the content and therefore the style have largely remained an equivalent. Thus, Madhubani painting has received GI (Geographical Indication) status.

Madhubani paintings use two-dimensional imagery, and therefore the colours used are derived from plants. Ochre, Lampblack and Red are used for reddish-brown and black, respectively. Madhubani paintings mostly depict people and their association with nature and scenes and deities from the traditional epics. Natural objects just like the sun, the moon, and plants like tulsi also are widely painted, alongside scenes from the royal court and social events like weddings.

2. Tanjore Painting

Tanjore Painting : Types of paintings

Tanjore Painting

Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur painting may be a classical South Indian painting style, which was inaugurated from the town of Thanjavur (anglicized as Tanjore).

The kind draws its immediate resources and inspiration from way back about 1600 AD, a period when the Nayakas of Thanjavur under the suzerainty of the Vijayanagara Rayas encouraged art—chiefly, classical dance and music—as well as literature, both in Telugu and Tamil and painting of chiefly Hindu religious subjects in temples.

it’s distinguished by its famous gold coating. However, it can safely be surmised that Thanjavur painting, as we all know it now, originated within the Maratha court of Thanjavur (1676–1855). it’s been recognized as a Geographical indication by the govt of India in 2007-08.

Thanjavur paintings are characterised by rich and vivid colours, simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso work and inlay of glass beads and pieces or very rarely precious and semi-precious gems.

In Thanjavur paintings, one can see the influence of Deccani, Vijayanagar, Maratha and even European or Company sorts of painting. Essentially serving as devotional icons, the themes of most paintings are Hindu gods, goddesses, and saints. Episodes from Hindu Puranas, Sthala-Puranas and other religious texts were visualised, sketched or traced and painted.

With the most figure or figures placed within the central section of the image (mostly within an architecturally delineated space like a mandapa or prabhavali) surrounded by several subsidiary figures, themes and subjects. There also are many instances when Jain, Sikh, Muslim, other religious and even secular subjects were depicted in Tanjore paintings.

Thanjavur paintings are panel paintings done on wooden planks and hence mentioned as palagi Padam (palagai = “wooden plank”; Padam = “picture”) in local parlance. In times, these paintings became souvenirs for festive occasions in South India – colourful pieces of art to embellish walls, and collectors’ items for art lovers, as also sadly sometimes, dime-a-dozen bric-a-bracs to be purchased from corner practitioners.

3. Warli Art

Warli Art

Warli Art

Maharashtra Warli art may be a 400-year-old tribal kind from Maharashtra. Warli painting may be a sort of tribal art mostly created by the tribal people from the North Sahyadri home in Maharashtra, India. This range encompasses cities like Dahanu, Talasari, Jawhar, Palghar, Mokhada, and Vikramgad of Palghar district.

This tribal art was originated in Maharashtra, where it’s still practised today. The tradition of Warli Painting in Maharashtra is among the best samples of the folks types of paintings. Jivya Soma Mashe, the artist in Thane district has played an excellent role in making the Warli paintings more popular. He has been honoured with a variety of national and central level for his paintings.

These rudimentary wall types of paintings use a group of basic geometric shapes: a circle, a triangle, and a square. These shapes are symbolic of various elements of nature. The circle and therefore the triangle come from their observation of nature. The circle represents the sun and therefore the moon, while Triangulum springs from mountains and pointed trees.

In contrast, the square appears to be a person’s invention, indicating a sacred enclosure or a bit of land. The central motif in each ritual painting is that the square, referred to as the “chauk” or “chaukat”, mostly of two types referred to as Devchauk and Lagnachauk. Inside a Devchauk is typically an outline of Palaghata, the mother goddess, symbolizing fertility.

4. Pattachitra Painting

Pattachitra Painting

Pattachitra Painting

Orissa Pattachitra or Patachitra may be a general term for traditional, cloth-based scroll types of painting, based within the eastern Indian states of Odisha and West Bengal. Pattachitra artform is understood for its intricate details also as mythological narratives and folktales inscribed in it. Pattachitra is one among the traditional artworks of Odisha, created for ritual use and as souvenirs for pilgrims to Puri, also as other temples in Odisha.

Pattachitras is a component of an ancient Bengali narrative art, originally serving as a visible device during the performance of a song. These types of paintings are supported by Hindu mythology and specially inspired by Jagannath and Vaishnava sect. All colours utilized in the Paintings are natural and paintings are made the fully old traditional way by Chitrakaras that’s Odiya Painter. Pattachitra sort of painting is one among the oldest and hottest art sorts of Odisha.

The name Pattachitra has evolved from the Sanskrit words patta, meaning canvas, and Chitra, meaning picture. Pattachitra is thus a painting done on canvas and is manifested by rich colourful application, creative motifs, and styles, and portrayal of straightforward themes, mostly mythological in depiction. The traditions of pattachitra paintings are quite a thousand years old.

5. Mughal Painting

Mughal Painting

Mughal Painting

Mughal Era The Mughal painting reflects a synthesis of Indian, Persian and Islamic art styles. This kind evolved between the 16th and 19th centuries. The theme centred around battles, receptions, court scenes, hunting scenes, legendary stories, portraits and wildlife. Interestingly, the Victoria and Albert Museums in London have huge collections of Mughal paintings.

6. Rajput Painting

Rajput Painting

Rajput Painting

Rajputana Rajput art forms flourished within the 18th century within the royal courts of Rajputana. Scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata dictate this kind. Colours used for these types of paintings were extracted from precious minerals like gold and silver, stones and plant sources. This was a lengthy process and would sometimes even take weeks.

7. KalamKari Painting

KalamKari Painting

KalamKari Painting

Andhra Pradesh Kalamkari literally means, “pen-art”. Kalamkari paintings are either hand-painted or block-printed on cotton fabric. This kind flourished under the rule of the Golconda Sultanate. it had been first developed and evolved at Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh but its popularity soon spread to the opposite states. As far because the popular belief goes, in olden days, groups of artisans, musicians and singers referred to as chitrakattis would travel from village to village and narrate tales of Hindu mythology. As time passed, they even started illustrating these stories on canvas as portrait painting and thus Kalamkari was born.

8. Gond Painting

Gond Painting

Gond Painting

Madhya Pradesh Gond paintings are a native type of painting of Madhya Pradesh. Gond art is characterized mostly by animals and birds. Gond paintings are an expression of spiritual sentiments and lifestyle depictions.


Indian art consists of a spread of art forms, including types of painting, sculpture, pottery, and textile arts like woven silk. Geographically, it spans the whole Indian subcontinent, including what’s now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and eastern Afghanistan. a robust sense of design is characteristic of Indian art and may be observed in its modern and traditional forms.

The origin of Indian types of paintings is often traced to pre-historic settlements within the 3rd millennium BC. On its thanks to times, Indian art has had cultural influences, also as religious influences like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam. In spite of this complex mixture of spiritual traditions, generally, the prevailing idiom at any time and place has been shared by the main religious groups. In historic art, sculpture in stone and metal, mainly religious, has survived the Indian climate better than other media and provides most of the simplest remains.

Many of the foremost important ancient finds that aren’t in carved stone come from the encompassing, drier regions instead of India itself. Indian funeral and philosophic traditions exclude grave goods, which is that the main source of ancient types of painting in other cultures. Indian artist styles historically followed Indian religions out of the subcontinent, having an especially large influence in Tibet, South East Asia and China. Indian art has itself received influences sometimes, especially from Central Asia and Iran, and Europe.


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