paintings of the mid-17th century were in the Basholi style,
which developed in the hill states of Jammu and Punjab. The town of Basholi
is located on the northeast and is about 130 kms from Jammu. The Basholi
paintings were characterized by strong use of primary colours
(red, mustard yellow and blue) and by faces with receding foreheads and great
expressive eyes, shaped like lotus petals. Apart
from clothing, which was borrowed from the
paintings, the Basholi paintings had
adopted new and individual styles and themes. The
most popular theme of Basholi painting was from Bhanu Dattas Rasamanjari,
which was profusely used by the renowned Basholi artist Devi Das in 1694-1695 AD. Other
favourite themes include love of Madhava-Malati, Radha-Krishna episodes and the Bhagavata
Purana. The artists also had a fondness
for the portraits of the local rajas in plain white garments.
The prominent portraits of many-headed Shiva and many-armed Durga reflect a
strong Indian elements. These paintings bear resemblance to the
and Malwa paintings.
style of painting spread to the other hill states of Mankot, Nurpur, Kulu,
Mandi, Suket, Guler and Kangra. A good collection of Basholi paintings is
found in the Dogra Art Museum, Jammu.