Mewar school

Mewar school – flourished under the patronage of Rajput kings in a completely indigenous folk style. This School attained its height during the reign of Maharaja Jagat Singh (1628-1652). Sahibdin, a court painter of Mewar and Manohar, an artist from Mandu were noted painters of this school. Sahibdin Painted “Nayak-Nayika Bheda”, Bhagwat purana and series of “Ragmala” paintings. he also painted the themes from social and cultural life and transform paintings from Mewar paintings from primitive folk style into sophisticated style.

The background in Mewar school was decorated with bright flat colors. Decorative natural scenes with simple architectural details are present. Human figures painted I this style have oval faces, long pointed nose, fish like eyes, narrow forehead and small mouth. The male figures were shown longer than female figures. Main garments of male figures were jama, patka and turban while female figures were choli lehenga and transparent odhani. The elephants and camels painted in this style look more natural than birds.


1. The larger number of painting in this style is centered around Krishna Bhakti cult. the costumes prevailing at the period, village life, senses from Rajput court, marriage processions songs and dances, inner life of the places but battle scenes have also been painted.

2. Bright and brilliant colors have been profusely used.

3. Male and female figure have long nose, oval shaped faces, elongated fish like eyes. the males use loose fitting garments. embroidered Pataka and turbans and females use loose long skirts. choli and transparent odhani (veils) The female figure have been drawn relatively smaller than the male.


Bundi –  school developed in Kota, Bundi and Jhalmar in the beginning of 17th century A.D. under the reign of raja ram Singh and raja arjun Singh. This school reached its climax in the middle of 18th century A.D. in the beginning this school had the effect of Mughal and Mewar school. Later on, it came as an independent school.

In this school the nature has been depicted in real form. Red brown complexion is its special quality of Bundi school. they had round faces, long chin and eyes like lotus petals. The female faces are shown soft and smiling. Light and shade shown near the eyes, shows depth. The male figures are shown healthy, strong courageous. The ladies are painted in lehenga, choli and Ghaghara.

The favorite themes of this school are Ragmala, Barahmasa and Rasikpriya. Lord Krishna is painted in blue color. Later on, the complexion of human face is replaced by flesh pink orange color. Bright colors like orange and green are almost only used in proper proportion.

Gold and silver colors have also been used. Red color sky and lotus pond with bird are the special style of Bundi school. The notable works of this school could be seen in mural decoration of the chitrashala of Bundi palace. The main painters are Dondia, Surjanmal, Ahmed Ali, Ramlal and Utkalram.


1. In Bundi paintings, human figure resembles, but expressions differ greatly.

2. Human face is round and small, the shades near cheeks, eyes and nose add charm and emotion to the figure.

3. landscapes of hills, thick jungles, rivers and lotus ponds and lakes with water birds have been painted beautifully.

4. The favorite theme of Bundi paintings are – Ragmala, Barahmasha, and Rasikpriya.


Jodhpur School – Rathore clan of Rajput of central India, Rao Jodha founded jodhpur in 1459. Initially jodhpur painter paint in Jain style. Jodhpur style developed during (1760-1780) A.D. in the reign of Vijay Singh. The soft and rhythmic lines and jewel like color composition excelled this style as a separate sub school of Rajasthani miniature.

The relative size of jodhpur miniature art is bigger than that of others. This school reached its climax during the reign of man Singh (1803-1843) A.D. a series of 121 paintings painted in 1802 A.D. based on “Dhola and Marwani” ballad are assets of this school.

Due to Mughal impact, graceful and romantic portraits of ladies have been painted in outline against a dark background. ‘a lady flying kite’ is one of its best examples. The female figures are shown uplifted forehead, sharp nose like beak of parrot, eyes like wagtails stretched up to ear, slim waist and long legs.

They are decorated with variety of ornaments. Male figure has beautiful moustache and side burns. Their turbans are shown very high. big architectural scenes are painted in white color. Background is generally full of dense forest. Highly decorative designs, sparkling of colors like enamel on a dark background and angular legs of animals are special features of jodhpur school. The main artist of this school was Jitmal, Dana, Shivdas and Kalu etc.


1. Female figures are tall, trees tied up high in a knot and have high forehead. The heads are smaller compression in to the body, Eyes are starched to the ear in the shape of wagtail. Nose are sharp like the beak of parrot, waists are slim, Breast and buttocks are heavy and legs are long. The mustache and side burns of the male are spectacular.

2. Jodhpur painting are somewhat larger than other miniatures.

3. Female figures are somewhat shorter than compression to males.

4. The pavilions are white and large. There are massed twisted clouds in the sky and a dense grove of trees in the back ground.


Bikaner School – Bikaner was founded by sixth son of Rao jodh, the founder of jodhpur in 1485. Since long Bikaner had been an important center of Rajasthani miniature paintings. Bikaner school developed under the patronage of Rathore clan of Rajput kings, like raja rai Singh, raja Karan Singh and raja Anup Singh after 17th century A.D. with a high Mughal character.

In 1750A.D. Bikaner accepted Mughal sovereignty and a large number of artists from Aurangzeb’s court migrated to Bikaner. Ustad Hamid Ruknuddin, a famous painter was one of them. He illustrated themes of Rasikpriya and Bhagwat purana in this style. He was also expert in painting female figure and portraiture, Hasan Raza, Nooruddin, sahibdin etc.

‘Varsha Vihar’ is an important work of famous painter life. Bikaner school reached its climax during the reign of raja Anup Singh. The best form of these miniature can be seen in the illustrations of Barahmasa and Ragmla. The decoration of Anup mahal and Phool Mahal done in this style is worth seeing.

Though most of the artist of this school were Muslims yet they pain Hindu’s themes very efficiently. In Bikaner style, half-closed eyes, small chin, tight lips, thin wrists of female figures have been painted. Males are shown narrow chests and tilted downwards moustaches. The ladies Ghaghara’s are decorated with stripes and fine works.

Clouds have been painted in circular pattern. The leaves of trees are shown painted in cluster of repeated patterns. The domes and lattices painted in this style have clear Mughal effect. Its color composition is soft showing spiritualism. Mostly purple, green, grey and Badami color are used with tonal variations. the fine drawing clever use of jewel like color, landscapes, details etc. are the characteristics of Bikaner style.

The subject matter of this school is based on themes from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Krishna legend and Krishna and love scene of Radha and Krishna. ‘Krishna supporting mount Goverdhan’ is the finest masterpiece of Bikaner school painted by Rukunuddin’s son Sahibdin. In 1690A.D.


1. Main theme of Bikaner paintings is based on Ramayana, Mahabharat, Krishna Legends, Ragmala and other love scenes of Radha and Krishna .

2. In human figures, a little tight lip is painted, eyes are half open chin small wrist are very thin. chest on comparison to other Rajput style seems under developed and mustaches of men, a little downward bent. Ghaghra of the women are decorated with diagonal strips.

3. Clouds are painted in special circular style.

4. Hunting scenes have also been beautifully depicted.


Kishan garh School – A very small estate Kishangarh is surrounded by Jodhpur, Shahpur and Ajmer. This estate was inherited by raja Krishan Singh in 1609 A.D., the eighth son of Raja Udai Singh of jodhpur. Kishangarh is situated near gundalia lake. te end of 18th century remarkably known as the closure time of the most of Rajasthani sub schools and sparkling birth of kishngarh school.

This school flourished a some of the prominent schools of Rajasthan. The credit of flourishing this school goes to its scholar raja Sawant Singh (1748-1757). He himself was a great poet, critic, artist and musician. He wrote 76 books under his pen name Nigari das. being the follower of Vallabh sect he was devotee of lord Krishna. He fell in deep love with an extraordinarily beautiful maid servant named Bani Thani. She was very smart and well-dressed always. Her name matched with her personality in each and every aspect. In his poems, he described Bani Thani as Radha. Nagari is another name of Radha. Hence, he took this pen name Nagari das.

In 1757 he accepted asceticism and went to live in Vrindavan with Bani Thani where he died seven years was the heavenly beauty of Bani Thani which inspired the painters of kishangarh to paint Radha most beautifully. The most famous artist of this school is nihalchand whose painting Bani -thani is supposed to represent kishangarh school. He was a court painter of Raja Sawant Singh. Some artist of kishsngarh school are Chhotu, Amirchnd, Surdhwaj, Bhawani das etc.

In the beginning, the theme of the painting of this school was only radha and Krishna. but later on, themes from “Geet Govind, Bhagwat purana, Bihari Chandrika, Nayak-nayika Bheda and harem scenes etc. have been painted. The most important feature of kishangarh school is depiction of women.

They are painted having long eyes narrower than jodhpur style curved upwards, exaggerated arch of eyebrows, decorative hair curls hanging in front of ear, thin lips long straight pointed nose and pronounced chin. Their profile faces are long with high sloping fore head. Their long beautiful fingers and long neck fully decorated with pearl ornaments of different style also add beauty to these paintings.

In kishangarh school Radha and Krishna have been treated as the soul and supreme god. Mostly primary colors red, yellow, blue and white have been used. Silver and gold colors add extra beauty to these paintings. Rhythmic, soft, graceful and elliptical lines have been used in these paintings. Soon after the death of raja Sawant Singh kishangarh school reached its climax. The beautifully painted Radha and Krishna are the hallmark of this school.


1.Subject matter in kishangarh Schools widely varied. hunting scenes. court scenes. portraits are kings, Nawabs, emperors, and saints have been beautifully painted.

2.The picture are romantic life of Radha and Krishna describe in Geet Govind, stories from Bhagwat purana, scenes from Bihari Chandrika and Nayak nayika Bheda Are main subjects of Kishan garh paintings.

3. Female figures are made Slim, flexible and tall like creepers. Face are long with high and sloping foreheads. Pointed long nose bulging out well-cut-lips. long chins the long-drawn eyes curved upward in the shape “KHANJAN PKSHI” and bow like eyebrows have been beautifully painted. Long neck, long fingers, a lock of hanging near the ear enhance their aesthetic beauty.

4. Primary colors have been applied.

5. Horizon and Sky are replaced by creepers and foliage’s.


Jai pur School – Raja Sawai Jai Singh (1693-1793) A.D. established Jaipur kingdom in a properly planned manner. The rulers of Jaipur were great lover of art and patronized paintings. Jaipur was he first Rajasthani kingdom which allowed Mughals in Rajasthan that caused Mughals influence on Rajasthani art and architecture by strong mutual and cultural exchange. Initially, Mughal impact dominated this indigenous art style.

But later on, in late 18th century A.D., the Rajasthani style dominated the Mughal style under the personal inspiration of Jaipur kings so the birth of Jaipur school. Jaipur school has the special place in the history due to its originality. Jaipur school reached its climax during the reign of raja Pratap Singh (1779-1803) A.D. He was a great lover of art and a devotee of Krishna.

Jaipur style shows unique union of devotion, romance and emotion.lines are flexible, soft and rhythmic. The use of light and shade is clearly visible. The human faces are round and medium in size. Their eyes are painted long like fish. Females have bright face, red lips , fleshy bodies and predominant breasts. Males have robust bodies, round nose yellow face and hair reaching up to ear.

They wear pajamas and turbans in which diamond and pearls are studded. Their shoe tips are pointed and high. The ghagras of ladies are painted in dark color. Ornamental border and profusion of golden color add beauty to this style. The painted animals, birds and cows’ elephants, horses, peacock etc. look natural and beautiful. Romantic love scenes from harem have been paited nicely.

Jaipur style is also known for it’s life size portraits of most of it’s rulers on walls and canvas. The main artist of this school were sahibram, ghasilal, hirachand , guman and hukma. ‘bihari satsai’ is one os it’s famous manuscripts. The main hemes of this school were ragmala depiction of seasons, Krishna leela, Ramayana and Mahabharat.


1. In the painting of Jaipur, there is a grace in the use of colors and lines. there is the expression of different postures.

2. The face of women is round. figure is in medium size; eyes are large and elongated with an upward curve.

3. The male figures have a robust body, round nose, and hair reaching up to the ear. The men wear loose payzamas and turban studded with diamonds. Ghaghara od women are painted with dark colors.

4. Jaipur paintings have ornamented borders.

5. Light and shades has been used properly.

Sub Schools

Vital Questions