If you are familiar with Indian history, then you will agree with us that of all the regions of India Mewar was the only region that was best known for the valor of its Rajput rulers and the creativity of its artists. It was also the last of the region governed by Rajputs to surrender before Mughals. It goes without saying that Mewar was well known for its Indian traditional paintings, especially miniature paintings. After it accepted the Mughal supremacy in the 17th century, there was a considerable interaction with the Mughal court. We gradually see the style of the Imperial court beginning to influence the later paintings of Mewar. The paintings made during the reign of Sanghram Singh II reflect the changes in the style which had come by the 18th century.
One region that can be compared with Mewar in terms of its Indian traditional paintings is the nearby province of Bundi. The rulers of Bundi were originally vassals of Mewar. The picturesque township of Bundi was a flourishing center of painting in medieval Rajasthan. The murals which survived in many rooms of the fortified palace of Bundi bring us a glimpse of the tradition of wall painting in that period. Bundi was also one of the important centers of miniature painting in Rajasthan. One can see close similarities between the mural and the miniature paintings of Rajasthan in the themes and styles of composition. There is only a difference of scale between the paintings on wall and the delicate representations on paper.
Popular Themes Explored in Bundi Paintings
The popular and recurrent themes in these beautiful Indian traditional paintings ranged from the traditional religious ones and the Ragamala to scenes of love and glorification of rulers.
Salient Features of Bundi Paintings
The techniques of depicting swirling water, skies tinted with brilliant hues and lush vegetation are characteristic features of Bundi paintings. The best of the Bundi paintings retain the sense of closeness to nature. The foliage is exuberant and appears to overflow into the world of the figures. One can feel the empathy of the artists who see the oneness of all the beings of creation.
Mughal Influence on Bundi Paintings
In the mid-16th century, the rulers of Bundi surrendered to Akbar and accepted the sovereignty of the Mughal Empire. These paintings represent the indigenous style of Rajasthan blended with the influences of the Imperial Mughal painters.
The influence of the Mughal School is seen in the shift from the brilliant coloring of the earlier paintings with their simplicity and figure. The later paintings have a more studied delicacy and subdued colors. The faces exhibit the Mughal technique in the manner of shading to impart a sense of volume.
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