7 Indian Art Forms You Should Know About


The treasury of Indian art is one of the greatest in the global scenario. Traditionally preserved these art forms from India are the part of the nation’s identity.
Once Nehru Ji said,
“Art of people is the reflection of their minds
Speaking of which most of us would agree that whatever creative thought we generate is disseminated through art forms we are familiar with only. But are we really aware of the art forms those have their roots in Indian culture? Let us explore in dive deeper into what Art forms we have got to outshine and give an identity to India.

1. Madhubani

Madhubani paintings are the most profound and practised traditional Indian art form found in the Mithila and Nepal as well. Its origin has a direct connection with Ramayana when Sita’s father told the artists to create such complex structured painting with sharp figures and natural colours used in it. Exactly! These paintings are all about the structures and vibrant colours extracted from natural resources, which later on became an important part of Mithila, Bihar during festivities and various celebrations.
The theme followed in these paintings, revolve around the Hindu deities (Ram, Krishna, Durga) and heavenly bodies like sun and moon.

2. Warli art

Secondly, Warli art is one of the oldest art forms in India with a history of more than 12000years. Warli is a tribal group of people found in Thane, Maharashtra who are skilled painters and artists by birth. The art involves the day to day communication and presentation of human activities to deities. The art was initially practised by the females of the tribe on the walls for optimism during celebrations but now the men practice it on canvases and papers. This art gained the necessary popularity during the 1970s.

3. Tanjore Paintings

This art form takes us to the southern part of India where its origin lies in the Thanjavur (also Tanjore) city of Tamil Nadu. While describing the process of its creation, it’s done on a base which may be a cloth on which the chalk powder is pasted where craft is made and ornamented with some stones and glass cuts on it. Like previously mentioned art forms, Tanjore is also themed on the god and goddesses keep them in the centre of the art piece to be created on a wooden base.
It came into existence during the 16th century. Mainly during the reign of Cholas.

4. Kalamkari

The name itself has a meaning which says “drawings using a pen.” This art form is very popular among the females and is widely used in current scenario these days. It has its origination from the state of Andhra Pradesh. It has two types which are distinctive on the basis of their origin from different regions. First one is Machilipatnam, which originates from Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and it deals with the block printing art form. The other one is Srikalahasti, which originates from Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh) which is the free-flowing art done on the fabrics with a die or pen. I mentioned it as widely used art form above as it is used to add designs to sarees and ethnic clothes depicting flora and fauna also the epics of Hindu mythology.

5. Cheriyal Scrolls

Nakashi family from Telangana is the originators of the Cheriyal scrolls which is a dying art form passed on from generations to generations. This art is an accumulation of long traditional scrolls and Kalamkar art with the innovations of Nakashi Family. Like other art forms depicting the gods and goddesses of India, this art has a no different theme. The heights of scroll may vary from 40 to 45 feet. Primary colours and intense imagination are used for creating an art piece of Cheriyal Scrolls.

6. Patachitra

This art form has its origin in Odisha and West Bengal, during 5th centuries when the sculpturing practice started budding. Back then there were no distinctive considerations for artists and sculptures but the methods made them deceptive.
This was done on a cloth piece mainly with the spiritual themes of Gods and goddesses. The style of painting is sharp and angular lines are used for better structural approach. Most importantly, the fact to be ascertained is that these paintings depicted the clothing style which was later on adopted by the Mughal reign.

7. Kalighat Paintings

Pondering over the recently developed art form in India, Kalighat paintings came into existence during 19th century Bengal, when the colonial rule started experiencing sudden change among Indians. The medium used was a cheap paper or a piece of cloth to portray social messages on it using watercolours and natural pigments of colour. The highlights are the brush strokes made with the squirrel hair brushes.
The paintings were bold and created social awareness among masses portraying, landlords enjoying cocktails with women.


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