in India >> Kangra Paintings
The coming of painters from the Mughal court in the second quarter of
the 18th century led to a complete transformation of the existing Basholi style
of paintings and the birth of
Guler-Kangra style of paintings.
This late Pahari style of paintings first appeared in Guler and then in
Goverdhan Singh (1744-1773 AD) of Guler was an early patron of this art form. The Kangra
paintings reached their maturity during the reign of Maharaja Sansar Chand (1775-1823 AD).
These paintings are marked by their liquid grace
Fattu, Parkhu and Khushala were
important painters of the Kangra style.
themes like the Bhagwata Purana, Gita Govinda and the
Sat Sai of
were portrayed in these paintings.
subject of the Kangra paintings was the Twelve Months, in which the artists
tried to bring out the effect of seasons round the year on the emotions of human beings.
The Kangra style is by far the most poetic and lyrical of Indian styles, says art historian J. C.
Harle. His favourite subject here is "the
idealization of woman, in flowing sari, head half-covered with a shawl, demure but
stately, passionate and shy". In many cases the works of the Kangra School are
accompanied by the texts inscribed in the Nagari characters. The Kangra style became well
entrenched in the Hills and many offshoots emerged in the regions like
Chamba and Mandi. The Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba is best known for its exquisite
collection of the Pahari miniatures. This genre of painting continued till late in the 19th
century, after which it declined in its importance.