Friday, 20 September 2013

Wall Paintings of India

- By Vijaya Lakshmi (Student of

Painting is one of the most delicate forms of art giving expression to human thoughts and feelings through the media of line and color.
Below are some of the eminent mural paintings of Ancient and Medieval India.

EraName of the SiteCharacteristics
Ancient India
  • Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
  • Bagh caves, Madhya Pradesh
  • Badami caves, Karnataka
  • Sittannavasal, Tamil Nadu
  • Jatakas, collection of stories, recording the previous births of the Lord Buddha.
  • Principal characters in heroic proportions.
  • Stories illustrated are continuous and elaborate.
  • Religious painting of Brahma, Shiva, etc.,
  • Ceiling Decoration with flora and fauna.
Medieval India Ellora Caves , Maharashtra
  • Epitome of Indian rock-cut architecture
  • Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples
  • Rectangular panels with thick borders.
  • Figures represent twist of the head, painted angular bents of the arms, the concave curve of the close limbs,the sharp projected nose and the long drawn open eyes
  • Fresco- secco method of painting
Medieval India Rajarajeshwara temple, Tanjore, Tamil Nadu
  • Figures are full of movement and throbbing with vitality (Dancers)
  • Portray Shiva in action, destroying demonic forts, dancing etc.
  • Done in a fresco method over the surface of the rock.
Late Medieval painting Veerabhadra Temple, Andhra Pradesh
  • Paintings are pressed within broad friezes and illustrate Shivaite and secular themes
  • Two-dimensional painting
  • Fresco-secco method of painting

Common Characteristics
  • Most of the colors’ were locally available.
  • Brushes were made up from the hair of animals, such as goat, camel, mongoose, etc.
  • The principal colors’ in use were red ochre, vivid red (vermilion), yellow ochre, indigo blue, lapis lazuli, lamp black (Kajjal), chalk white, terraverte and green.