miniatures, as the name indicates were small works, which were made on
material & hence no definite proof of their birth & development
can be traced.
In Bengal, Bihar & Orissa, Buddhist
manuscripts were illustrated, mostly paintings of Buddha on palm leaves. They
resemble the Ajanta style but on a miniature scale.
In Gujarat, illustrations in Jaina
manuscripts can be seen. The
style of the Jain caves at Ellora were followed. Some illustrations were done on
paper. In the later stages the fine application of colour diminished. There was
also some Persian influence which spread from here to other places such as Mandu
The Mughal emperors introduced their own
style of miniature paintings with Persian inspiration. Court scenes were
depicted in grandeur. The background was usually hilly landscapes.
Flowers & animals were also vastly depicted & in these the Indian artists
applied their own skill to develop on the Persian ideas. The
paintings can be put under two broad groups, the Rajasthani style & the
Pahari style. The
subject matter of the paintings were mostly religious & love subjects, based on
Lord Rama & Lord Krishna. Court scenes were depicted as also royal portraits.
Bold outlines & brilliant colours are characteristic of Rajasthani paintings.