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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 Kangra.  Raja 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 and delicacy.  Fattu, Parkhu and Khushala were important painters of the Kangrapahkangra3.JPG (24218 bytes) style.  Many themes like the Bhagwata Purana, Gita Govinda and the Sat Sai of Nala-Damayanti were portrayed in these paintings.  Another 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 Kullu, Nurpur, 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.    

 

 



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