Questions of Pala Style

Que. What is the miniature painting?       


Define the miniature painting?

Ans. The word miniature is derived from Latin verb “Miniare” or “paint in small” or “Paint in red” .the word miniature means is very small .So a miniature painting mean a small painting .If a painting has been depicted in small size, in any media and on any surface, it is known as miniature painting. A miniature painting is always minutely detailed.

A miniature painting is generally painted on different kind of surface like palm leaf, cloth, ivory. Bhojpatra and lather etc. In a miniature painting generally themes like portraits, story illustration and daily life scenes. Scenes relating to buddha have been depicted in the form illustrated manuscripts. The school is where we find a healthy tradition of miniature painting are Rajasthan school of miniature painting, Pahari school of miniature painting, Mughal school of miniature painting Decani School of miniature painting, Pala school of miniature painting and Jain school of miniature painting.

Que. Who Is Vajrapani ?

Ans- In Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrapani is deity and one of the three main protective bodhisattvas, the word has been derived from Sanskrit. Here “vajra” means thunderbolt (A weapon) and “Pani” means “in the hand”. Being the protector of the Buddha, Vajrapani is mostly depicted dancing among flames and holding a lightning bolt in his right hand. He is considered tp be the power of Buddhism (Buddha). He is considered as the manifestation of buddha Akshobhya. he is associated with “Indra” the God of rain and war. Indra Also hold a lightning bolt always. Other protectors of buddha are Manjushree and Avalokiteshvara.

Que- Define “Ashtsahasrika Prajanaparmita”?

Ans- “Ashtsahashrika prajnaparamita” is a manuscript of Mahayana Buddhism. It is written in 8000 lines. it has illustration on Six folios.

Que. How did the Pala or eastern school of miniature painting come into existence?


Write an essay on the origin and development of Pala or eastern school of miniature painting.


Write a note on Pala miniatures or eastern Indian Miniatures.

Ans- Pala Miniatures or Eastern miniatures flourished in Bengal during 8th century A.D. And then in Bihar And Magadha. It is known as Pala school because is flourished under then rule of Pala kings like dharma pal deo pal mahi pal and Rampal etc. Pala dynasty was founded by Gopala in 750 A.D. The chief Artist were Dhiman and his son Veetpala. All the manuscripts were written on Talapatra. theme of illustration was based on Mahayana Buddhist manuscripts like Pragya-paramita, Ashtsahashrika prajnaparamita and others. these painting were based on jataka Stories. These painting were made in the size of about 22.5” X2.5” some paintings on cloth have also been found. The painting was done in the middle of the Talptras while on both side writing was there in five or six lines. The Talptras were tightened with the help of two wooden plates of same size through thread which passed through a hole done on both the ends of Talpatra and the plates.

Sava chasm (one and a quarter eyes) faces were mostly painted, nose was very long. eyes were closed etc. are some features of this school. Painting appeared to be life less due to flat hands. Do chasm (two eyed front pose 0 face were also done but very rarely. Ajanta’s influence was there. Black lines were used for finishing and no name of any painter was mentioned in the paintings. red Blue indigo reddish grey and pink color had been used.

Que.- Write a short note on kalpsutra katha?

Ans- Kalpsutra is considered as the most sacred text. Devotee of Jainism worshiped it because the book consists of biography of lord Mahavira and the lives of tirthankaras. The original text was written by “Bhadrabahu” swami who died in 357 BC. Kalpsutra is read by jain monks during the holi festival of ‘Paryushan’. The word Kalpa means ‘an item which fulfilled all wishes. So many people believe that a person wises are fulfilled on reading this holy book.

Que.- Write a short note on kalkacharya katha?

Ans- Kalkacharya was a famous jain acharya. once, the king of Ujjain, Gard hill kidnaped a monk from kalkacharya sangh (group). Kalkacharya met gardbhill and asked him to free her. But the king insulted kalkacharya. so, kalkacharya prepared his army and then attacked Ujjain. Gardbhill was defeated and the monk was freed. ‘kalk’ and ‘acharya’ was mixed become acharya Kalka. his disciplined followed him to great extent. They followed his path of truth and peace.

Que.- How did the western or Jain of Gujrat school of miniature painting come into existence?


Write an essay on the origin and development of western or Jain or Gujrat school of miniature painting.


Write a note on western or Jain or Gujrat Indian miniatures.

Ans- western miniatures are also known as Jain or Gujrat miniatures. The time period of miniature is about 10th century A.D. to 15 centuries. It is a very famous school of miniature painting and it was flourished in Gujrat. These paintings were done on ‘Tala Patra’,’paper’ and ‘cloth’. Female figures are found rarely in these paintings and those found were of goddesses. The garments of certain were shown in white like pearls or golden colors. crowns were decorated beautifully. The faces were depicted in ek (1) chasm (profile), dedh (1.5) chasm and also in front pose. red, yellow and golden color have been used. paintings of eyes are a specialty of this school.

Dr. Anand Coomaraswamy provided the name ‘Gujrat miniatures’ to these paintings. He discovered a manuscript from berlin museum namely ‘kalpsutra’ in 1924.he also found some more manuscripts resembling it and renamed its style as ‘western Indian style’. Shri Rai Krishna Das named this style as ‘Apbhransha’ which, means distortion. bulging it eye pointed nose, double chin, distorted hands, stiff fingers unnaturally predominant chest, weak drawing etc. are main features of this school. Jain school of art suffered a lot doe to coming of Mughals. There were some Jain artists also during Mughals.

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