art & Culture, Jodhpur

Rajasthan is among the richest states in the country as far as the field of arts and crafts is concerned. May be it was a result of the war like lifestyle of the people of Rajasthan which sharpened the creative senses, artistic skills and inspired them to create the most opulent and richest of treasures. Stone, clay, leather, wood, ivory, lac, glass, brass, silver, gold and textiles were given the most brilliant forms. For women their was infinite variety -- tie and dye fabrics, embroidered garments, enamel jewellery inlayed with precious and semi-precious stones, leather jootis etc.

Declines of patronage in the Mugal court at Delhi artists moved to a more congenial environment and were welcomed by the rulers of Rajasthan. Rajasthani school (1550-1900 AD) of paintings, murals, miniatures came into existance. Frescoe paintings was done on the walls of palaces at Jaipur, Udaipur, Bikaner and Jodhpur. Another branch of Rajasthani school was at orcha and Datia Bundelkhand. Most of these paintings have the themes of the Krishna stories, Raslila and Hindu religious subjects.

Influenced by the surroundings, rajasthani medieval paintings have their own unique styles - the hills and valleys, deserts, places and forts, gardens, court scenes, religious processions; and the highlighting scenes from the life of Lord Krishna were the recurrent themes of these paintings. The Raagamala paintings and paintings based on Goeta Govinda are treasures of Rajasthani style of art and painting. The miniature artists of Rajasthan were practising their art since 16th century and were later employed by the Mughal courts including the emperor Akbar.