A quick recap of Indian Miniature Paintings

Posted by Dinesh Saigal on

Indian Miniature Paintings

The art of miniature paintings can be traced back as far as the 11th century. Influenced by a combination of larger murals and the long-held Persian tradition of miniature paintings, the introduction of this art form to India flourished rapidly, resulting in an extensive history and amazing work.

In short, miniature paintings are handmade and incredibly colorful while still being decidedly small in size. The amazing part is the sheer detail contained in such a small piece of art, from delicate brushwork to stunning mixtures and variations in color, each of which is handmade from minerals, precious stones, indigo, conch shells, vegetables, and pure gold and silver. This style of art prompted an explosion of schools throughout India, focused specifically on miniature paintings. The topic or subject of the artwork was decidedly religious in the beginning; however, throughout the years, Indian miniature paintings have evolved to showcase numerous cultural ideals and traditions.

When buying this type of artwork, it can be helpful to know the most popular schools from which a specific piece may be the result of. Most pieces are dated by this information, although each school can be further divided by the style taught or the popular artists of the time:

  • Palal, 11th to 12th century
  • Western Indian, 12th to 16th century
  • Mughal, 1560 to 1800 AD
  • Deccani, 1560 to 1800 AD
  • Central Indian and Rajasthan, 17th to 19th century
  • Pahari, 17th to 19th century

Miniature Indian paintings are one of the most long-standing types of art that are still available for purchase today, and any piece can be a fantastic addition to a collection or stand on its own as a stunning piece of historical art.

Enjoy a gallery of Indian Miniature Paintings!


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