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Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts
Bhamlada, Punjab -145 022, India
Mobile : 09417735631/09417170998

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ISBN No. 978-93-81200-03-2


Pahari art and values

In this chapter I will make a comparative analysis of the difference in the psyche of the artists of yore and the artists who practice Pahari schools of art today.
Here I will try to elaborate how far these traditional forms of art are connected with the lives of the artists in different time frames.
The change in socio-economic values greatly influence the viewpoints of the artists. The artists, of old, whose traditional values reigned supreme in a society that was not influenced by modern western values and was not under the pressure of the fast life style, it was more natural and easier to the practice the Pahari schools of art in a spontaneous manner.
For them, the life with costumes and the philosophy that they depicted was "contemporary", as all this was the reflection of their own time and life style in their environment.
Since the people and places they depicted coincided with the people and places they saw themselves, innovation in this traditional form came much easier to them.
Even when depicting scenes from Krishnalila of from other mythological tales, they used their own "contemporary" settings and styles to present the themes.
The most important of all, they believed in what they painted and it is quite evident that the mythological figures with religious importance were painted with deep faith.
Their life moved at a much slower pace, and though they had to please their patrons with their work, and depended on their patrons for their livelihood, they never aimed at becoming rich with "career success" through their art.
This is a basic difference indeed with the artists of today, whether they practice traditional or contemporary forms of art.
When a human being is able to take on life at his or her own pace, life has a different meaning, that the person used to the fast life of modern times will not understand.
This basic fact reflected in the diversity of the subjects of pahari art schools that were attempted and tackled with success even within the limitations of decorative art forms.
The artists who are copying from published books or art plates for the sole purpose of marketing them to make money, can rarely, if ever understand the mentality of the artists of yore.
Financial success is the main objective of the artists who practice these art forms in repetitive manner and the modern life style with the a abundance of illusionary needs have changed the view points of the artists now.
The marketing possibilities of Indian traditional forms of art in India and abroad, from direct transaction or through the internet have increased the expectations of the artists today.
The old days of slow and simple life of the artists of yore whose main objective was to immerse in the joy of creativity will not return again.
In the olden days when there were much less diversions such as television, cinema or magazine, the traditional art forms had a special attention from the people of those days.
Each picture had much more individual attention from the appreciative people. The attitude to evaluate art in terms of money have affected the artists in modern times and those who practice Pahari art are no exception today.
This distortion of values have spread in the art world, whether traditional or contemporary.
The timehonoured traditional artist, with straight forward and simple life style, satisfied with what they could enjoy, having deep faith in Almighty have passed in to the pages of history.
In general, he or she who learns Pahari painting today has an entirely different mindset, with different aspirations, that fit in with the "modern" values of life quite naturally.
Yet, when a traditional form develop with a traditional philosophy, a far greater dimension is achieved.
Institutions have been opened by the Government of Himachal to teach Pahari painting, yet I do not expect that dimension of the artists of olden times, who showed innovative excellence within the limitations of stylistic perimeter to be recreated ever again.

Prabal Pramanik
(from the published book "My views on Pahari paintings")
ISBN No. 978-93-81200-03-2

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Prabal Pramanik



The articles presented here are from the published book "My views on Pahari paintings" by Prabal Pramanik published by M/s Orient Book Company. These articles are original. These articles are not compilations made from other articles and no chapter or portion of these articles have been taken from any other published work.
These articles are from my own published work, with ISBN number, and these are copyright reserved.
Anyone found to print or publish or use in any form in the internet or in print media these articles or portions from these articles without the prior written permission of the author and publisher will be liable to pay damages to the author and publisher.
The pictures displayed here are by artists who have passed away more than fifty years ago. According to international copyright act, art works and written matter become public domain, fifty years after the death of the artist and the writer.
This website has been created for the benefit of art lovers and for those who want to appreciate Pahari art paintings

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