Forms of Art
- Indian art consists of a variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, pottery and textile arts.
- Geographically, it spans the entire Indian subcontinent, including what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and eastern Afghanistan. The 35 states and union territories each have their own unique culture and traditions that have created many different types of art styles including Mandalas, folk paintings, and more.
One of Ross’s landscape paintings.
Every region in India has its own style and pattern of art, which is known as folk art.
There is yet another form of traditional art practiced by several tribes or rural populations, which is classified as tribal art.
Some of the most famous folk paintings of India are the Madhubani paintings of Bihar, Patachitra
paintings from the state of Odisha, and the Nirmal paintings of Andhra Pradesh.
Kamal Dancer Nirmal Painting on Wood
The oldest Indian paintings are rock art in caves which are around 30,000 years old, such as the Bhimbetka cave paintings.
Mandalas are a symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism representing the universe.The word mandala comes from Sanskrit, an ancient Indian language meaning “circle.” The circle is seen as a magical form, without beginning and end, just as the universe is believed to have no end. It is said that a wander may have brought the first mandalas to Tibet in about the eighth century. Mandalas have been found across the Far East. Mandalas are considered to be of Eastern origin, but it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find any civilization without some awareness of the circle’s importance.
Thangka painting of Manjuvajra mandala
was created between 1400 and 1500.
What are Mandalas used for?
The mandala is used as an object to focus your attention on while meditating.
Babies as young as 1 week old prefer to look at circles over other shapes, which indicates that humans have an inborn desire to look at circular shapes. When children learn to draw, the circle is the first shape they make after random scribbling
Mandalas can be in architecture or paintings and come in a variety of materials. Above a monk uses ancient techniques to get the perfect circle using colored sand.
Mandala of Vishnu
Also known as Mithila painting this is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar state of India. Paintings are done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and have eye-catching geometrical patterns and bright colors.
If you enjoyed learning about the Art of India and would like to know more, join us December 9, at 2pm. You will have the opportunity to follow along with a fun Indian Art inspired project.
Checkout these fun titles about the Art of India: