Jain Style

 West Indian style / Jain style (12th to 16th century)

The West Indian style of painting was prevalent in Gujarat Rajasthan and Malwa region. Jainism was the driving force of artistic activities in Western India. Like Buddhism in the case of Ajanta and Pala arts, Jainism was patronized by the kings of the Chalukya dynasty, who ruled Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan and Malwa from 961 AD to the end of the thirteenth century. The princes, their ministers and the prosperous Jain merchants had built a large number of manuscripts of Jainism from the twelfth to the sixteenth century to obtain religious merit. Many such manuscripts are available in such Jain libraries stores which are found in many places in Western India.

The illustrated examples of these manuscripts are in a highly distorted state. In this style certain characteristics of the body are able to see the expansion of an exaggeration of the eyes, chest, and buttocks. The shapes, including the angularity of the nose-map, are flat and the eyes are pointed out towards the sky. This primitive life force is an art of strong lines and powerful characters. From about 1100 to 1400 AD, palm leaves were used for manuscripts and paper was subsequently brought for its purpose. Two of the most popular Jain texts, namely Kalpasutra and Kalkacharya-Katha, were written repeatedly and illustrated through paintings. Some notable examples of manuscripts of Kalpasutra are in the Dewasno Paado Bhandar in Ahmedabad. The Kalpasutra and Kalkacharya Katha of about 1400 AD are in the Prince of Wales Museum in Mumbai. The Kalpasutra executed in 1439 AD at Mandu is now in the National Museum in New Delhi. Kalpasutra was written and painted in Jaunpur in 1465 AD.

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