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Prabal Pramanik's Academy of Arts
Bhamlada, Punjab -145 022, India
Mobile : 09417735631/09417170998
ISBN No. 978-93-81200-03-2
|Later Schools of art influenced
by miniature paintings of northern India
In the history of
art often, older art schools influence later forms of art. This happens in paintings,
sculpture and also in architecture.
The artists in later ages, when exposed to older styles may reintroduce those styles with
different modifications in their work.
New creative experimentations inspired by previous styles result in new forms and
presentations that create bridges between the old and the new.
In the area where the schools of Pahari painting developed and continued through the
repetitive process limited experimentation was done and the innovation in later years was
very limited indeed.
The main intention for learning Pahari painting in later years was to produce marketable
pieces that can be sold to Indian and foreign collectors.
When copies of old paintings are "market tested" and are easier to produce in
the set manner, copy masters take the place of real original artists.
Continuous copy work from the pictures of old paintings, deprived the copy masters from
the growth and development of imaginative powers and innovation in the real sense never
At most they could change or reallocate some figures or features in the composition or
just mix the figures of two compositions but never understood the meaning of creative
freedom in their psyche created by constant repetitive copy work.
When the area of success is measured by the evaluating scale of money and awards received,
the sphere of creative freedom that is free from thoughts of commercial gains and
showcased awards, is not of importance.
Moreover when a technical form rigidly binds a form of art, that rigidity itself is a an
obstacle for experimentation in new methods concerning that school of art.
Stagnation is the result in general and the copy masters are controlled by the demand in
the market, which obviously in the case of Pahari painting is for compositions in the old
Only at a place that is free from such constrictions and pressures of market orientation,
new experimentations can be made and new schools can be created with the influence of the
Even more than hundred years ago, when Abanindra Nath Tagore and some other artists were
shown North Indian miniature paintings that included Mughal and Pahari both, they were
deeply influenced and saw the possibilities of creating new forms.
Undoubtedly, Bengal school of art, that was influenced by far eastern painting also, was
influenced by north Indian miniature painting.
The technical aspect was entirely different in Bengal school of art miniatures. Instead of
applying uniform opaque colours, wash techniques of multiple transparent washes were used.
The subjects were not the same necessarily though Radha Krishna lila was a theme, and the
compositional forms were totally innovative.
Artistic freedom was the main objective and creativity reached new heights of sensitivity
in Bengal school of art.
Yet, we should remember, that the positive influence of the miniature paintings from north
India was important in the development of Bengal school of art that played such an
important part in the renaissance of Bengal.
Patna school of art, was also influenced by North Indian miniature painting styles. Both
Patna school of art and Bengal school of art absorbed many technical aspects from European
style of painting too.
Prabal Pramanik ©
(from the published book
"My views on Pahari paintings")
ISBN No. 978-93-81200-03-2