In a world where bigger often is equated with 'better', magic is often hidden in the minuscule. Miniature Paintings are the magical gems of the art world... spellbinding in their intricacy and stunning in their beauty.
A bridal procession, a royal hunting party, nocturnal tryst of lovers, a raging battle or a mythological episode... in Miniature Painting, size does not limit the scale of the art nor the scope of emotion.
This traditional form of art dates back to 9th-10th century. In Eastern India, the palm leaf manuscripts of the Buddhist Pala period, and the Jain palm leaf manuscripts of Western India sowed the seeds of Miniature art in India.
Akhanda Ekarasa — is an exhibition collated by ICA Gallery, India, showcasing an exquisite bouquet of old registered miniature paintings from 1710-2017. The exhibits represent the mature essence of Miniature artworks.
These Miniature Paintings draw inspiration from various religious and cultural influences of the era and location they originated in depicting the country's rich cultural heritage.
The paintings were initially done on palm leaves and wood pieces using natural pigments and dyes as colours. With changing times, cloth and even paper were used.
We have attempted to present to you a handpicked set of miniature artworks that behold a traditional virtue of their antiquity. The provenance of the antique artworks showcased here sprawls across places like Jaipur, Bikaner, and other parts of India.
Some of the noteworthy works showcased here include Mahisasur Mardini (Bundi, Circa 1815); Mahawat On Elephant (Mewar, Circa 1820); Narsingh Awtar (Pahari, Circa 1805), and many more.
The masters of the yore truly created entire worlds in the smallest of canvases. Sadly, today very few artists are even interested in this delicate practice that demands superior talent, absolute dedication and immense passion. The best of Miniature Paintings are now museum pieces. For most art connoisseurs, pleasures of high-quality miniatures are rare.
To initiate a change, Kalakriti Art Gallery presents this unique exhibition of different styles of Miniature Paintings from across the country. All schools of Miniature Painting — Pala, Rajasthani, Pahari, Deccani and Mughal among others — will come together under the same roof to offer a magical experience.