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INDIAN PAINTING

 

BASHOLI PAINTINGS

 

The early Pahari  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 Mughal paintings, the Basholi paintings had adopted new and individual styles and themes.  The most popular theme of Basholi painting was from Bhanu Datta’s 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 Rajasthani and Malwa paintings.  This 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.



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