Kangra Paintings By SONALI CHITALE

Shringar & Eternal love is a central theme of Kangra paintings. (चित्रशैली) The pictorial art of Kangra, named after Kangra, Himachal Pradesh, a former princely state in mid-18th century. This great art originated in Guler state, a small hill state in the Lower Himalayas in the first half of the 18th century.


one can easily find enormous shades of Greens, along with a beautiful riverbank. Kangra Art beautifully expresses feminine charm & grace with softer facial emotions n expressions. The female figures are exceptionally beautiful. Kangra art depicts life of young krishna at the background of Vrindavan forest at the banks of Yamuna. In some
miniatures, the blue-god Krishna is seen dancing in the lush woodlands and every gopi’s eyes are drawn to him. Bhakti cult was the driving force and the love story of Radha and Krishna; the main source of spiritual


and employed cool, fresh colors. The colors were extracted from minerals and vegetables which possessed enamel-like luster. The Kangra paintings feature flowering plants, creepers and leafless trees. The Kangra artists adopted various shades of the primary colors and used delicate and fresher hues. For instance, they used a light pink on
the upper hills to indicate distance. This is made noticeable by using multiple shades of green. They employed cool and fresh colors. Kangra paintings are known for the lyrical blending of form and color. Kangra paintings depict eternal love of Radha- Krishna which was famously known as Raaslila. Other famous depiction was of a poetic story of Nala Damayanti.
Later Pahari paintings school, came to be known as Kangra paintings. Pahari paintings, as the name suggests, were paintings executed in the hilly regions of India, in the sub-Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh. The sentiment of love remained the inspiration and the central theme of
Pahari painting.


Maharaja Sansar Chand gave shelter to the artists and painters, where Pahari painting Art reached to its peak. To see some of these master pieces one can visit the Maharaja Sansar Chand Museum, adjoining the Kangra Fort in Kangra Himachal Pradesh. The Kangra Arts Promotion Society, an NGO at Dharamshala Himachal Pradesh is working for the promotion of this art which is at the verge of extinction today. They are training young boys and girls in this art. It also runs a workshop where genuine Kangra Paintings are made on traditional handmade paper using only mineral and vegetable colours.
Such beautiful art form should not go unnoticeable and face the extinguishing fate.


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