Various schools of miniature painting
collectively called Pahari, flourished between the 17th
and 19th centuries in the sub-Himalayan states towards
the end of the Mughal rule in India. Rajput kings or chieftains who
were all great connoisseurs of art ruled the hilly
region, comprising of 22 princely states, extending from Jammu to
Almora. With the infusion of new ideas and techniques these schools
attained a level of maturity and sophistication, which made them
worthy successors of the Mughal tradition.
This art dwelt largely on the themes and symbols from
literature and mythology. A typical
consists of several figures skillfully grouped and full of movement,
and each is distinctive in terms of clothing, hairstyle and even
pigmentation, which may be blue, white, pink or grey.
Pandit Seu of Guler and his sons Manaku and Nainsukh were
among the greatest of the Pahari
painters. The Pahari
paintings can be classified into two groups: a northern series
called the Jammu or Dogra
school and the southern
series called the Kangra school.