CBSE Class 12 Fine Arts Notes And Syllabus Pdf 2023-24

Syllabus 2022-23

  • Unit 1 – The Rajasthani and Pahari Schools of Miniature Painting.
  • Unit 2 – The Mughal and Deccan Schools of Miniature Painting.
  • Unit 3 – The Bengal School of Painting and the Modern Trends in Indian Art.

Unit – 1 

The Rajasthani and Pahari Schools of Miniature Painting 

(A.) The Rajasthani School of Miniature Painting

Origin and Development:

Rajasthani School was a continuation of old Indian tradition. This art was
developed under the Rajput kings. In the beginning, this school had Mughal
influence, but later it was established as a purely Indian art having no
Mughal influence. Rajasthani School did not originate as miniature, but it
was primarily a mural art.

During the attack of Mughals, the whole Rajasthan was affected but Mewar
remained safe till the end. So, Rajasthani School flourished first in
Mewar. Later, it flourished in Jaipur, Jodhpur, Bundi, Kishangarh, Bikaner
and other places of Rajasthan. Kishan Singh ruled at Kishangarh. After
Kishan Singh, Raja Sawant Singh’s son Raja Raj Singh ruled Kishangarh and
art reached its climax. Raja Sawant Singh was also a very famous king of
Kishangarh. Rajasthan was a place of ‘Raja’ (Kings) or place of ‘States’.
That’s why it was known as Rajasthan. 

Rajasthani Art had purely Hindu feelings and had Indian sensibility. 

The Main Characteristics or features of Rajasthani School of Miniature
Painting :

  • Variety in Themes :There is a great variety in themes of Rajasthani Paintings. Themes are
    based on seasons, music, hunting scenes, religious themes like Ramayana,
    Mahabharata etc., love scenes, ragmala series etc. In love scenes,
    Krishna and Radha have been depicted.

  • Colour Scheme : The main colours used are the primary
    colours (red, yellow & blue), green, brown and white. Other colours
    in use are golden and silver.

  • Costumes : Females are wearing Lehanga and Choli with
    Transparent Dupatta. Males are wearing turbans and Jhoba (a group of
    threads), pyjama and Patka. 
  • Facial features : Faces are full of emotions and feelings
    according to the mood. The faces are in profile, elongated and oval, the
    forhead is inclining downwards, long and pointed nose, swelling out lips
    and pointed chin.
  • Depiction of women : The women of Kishangarh School are very
  • Lines : The lines are very fine, powerful and rhythmic.
  • Depiction of Nature : Nature has also been depicted very
    beautifully. Different types of trees, floral trees, mountains, water
    springs and lakes have been depicted in a very attractive manner.

The Rajasthani Paintings:

Maru-Ragini Sahibdin Mewar
Raja Anirudh Singh Hara Utkal Ram Bundi
Chaugan Players Dana Jodhpur
Krishna on Swing Nuruddin Bikaner
Radha (Bani-Thani) Nihal Chand Kishangarh
Bharat meets Rama at Chitrakut Guman Jaipur

Maru-Ragini (Sahibdin):

The love story of Dhola – Maru is very popular in Rajasthan and is narrated
both in Murals and miniature paintings. The composition of the painting is
divided into two parts. Dhola and Maru are shown seated under a yellow
canopy with a red curtain in the upper part of the composition. Dhola is
dressed in typical aristocratic attire complete with weapons like sword and
shield, facing his lover Maru in Rajasthani costume. The lower part of the
composition shows Maru caressing her pet camel. Both the figures are
prominent against a green background dotted with flower motifs. Stylished
motifs of trees are bringing a unity in the composition.

Raja Anirudha Singh Hara (Utkal Ram):-

This miniature painting from Bundi, Raja Anirudha Singh Hara represents the
encroachment of realism in the decorative style of Rajput miniature
painting. The painting shows the Raja on the back of a galloping horse. He
is dressed in typically Mughal costume along with the headdress (turban).
There is refined craftsmanship in the drawing of the galloping horse hoop
uplifted. The king dress is decorated with orange and brown colours. He
holds a flower in his left hand. The scabbard and sword hilt are elaborately
ornamented. The small head of the horse has added hugeness to the body of
the horse. There is a peculiarity of the Bundi paintings which contains
minor in one corner.

Chaugan Players (Dana):-

The painting Chaugan Players is of a group of Polo-Players all
mounted on horse-backs with polo sticks in their hands. The two princesses
are riding side saddles and are bare-headed. They are charging at each other
with long polo sticks trying to control the ball. Their lady companions are
also on horse-back, riding side saddle, running away from the centre but
still trying to control the polo ball with long sticks. 
Their upper bodies are twisted backward trying to face the ball. Heads of
the maids are covered with Odhnis. They are all dressed in Rajput costumes.
A little cluster of foliage and flower is presented in a stylished manner.
Their skirt spread out in bell like fashion with the movement of the maids
and their horses has lent speed to the movement and highlighted the game
with the ball in the middle surrounded by polo sticks, which has been
produced by the artist very clearly. They all have their tresses tied in

Radha [Bani-Thani] (Nihalchand):-

This painting of Nihalchand of Kishangarh of Rajasthani School has a special
place in the treasure of Indian miniature paintings. The style is
characterized by emphatic lengthening of the eyes and nose. Faces are mostly
in profile with a very stylized eye-brow and smile on the lips. The painter
was inspired by the poem of Raja Sawant Singh., 
who describes the beauty of a lady called “Bani Thani” in his poem. The
beauty of this  woman is symbolically used to describe the beauty of
Sri Radha. Her smile is supposedly enigmatic; her eyes reflect the ideal
feminine beauty of  classic Sanskrit Literature. She is painted as an
ideal of Indian womanhood and can easily  be compared to Monalisa
supposed to eptomise the ideal of womanhood.

Bharat meets Rama at Chitrakuta (Guman):-

This one is a very popular episode of Ramayana, largely known as “Bharat
milap”. The painting depicts the emotional moment when Bharata, the whole
incident is taking place at the jungle of Chirakuta where Rama stayed for
few days. Painter Guman has done wonderful presentation of forty nine
figures on a small canvas relating an entire story in episodic from bringing
the same figures in groups for Rama to express his desire of carrying out
his father’s wishes. Rama’s cottage is dimly seen in the right hand corner
and there is a bunch of banana grove beyond that. There is profusion of
green in the whole painting for the background. In the foreground, there is
a pound-like stretch of water possibly a part of the river Sarayu blooming
lotuses and colours use are green, blue, yellow and white very dexterously.
It is a very well executed painting of Jaipur School. 

Krishna on Swing (Nuruddin):-

The painting “Krishna on Swing” is yet another marvelous achievement of this period. The painting has two
panels depicting two different part of scene. On the first part of the panel
Krishna is shown sitting on a swing on the left side of the panel. He is
wearing a tiara on his head, his upper part is semi-clothed and there is
white flower garland on his neck.
There is a Dupatta hanging from his shoulders, and he is wearing an orange
coloured ‘dhoti’. The blue complexion of his body has been highlighted. The
swing has an ornamental border is hexagonal shape. Radha sitting in front of
him in the balcony is wearing traditional but decorated ‘Ghangra’ and
‘choli’. They are looking at each other. Her head is covered with a
transparent Odhnis and she is sitting on arced carpet. There is pillow
supporting the back of both Radha and Krishna. In the lower panel, both
Radha and Krishna are sitting at different places under a tree in a
foreground. An attendant of Radha is also shown in the painting. She has
perhaps brought a message for Krishna. Here again Krishna is wearing tiara,
garland and  Dupatta, but his dhoti is of yellow colour. Both Radha and
Krishna are sitting on red carpets supported by pillows. Radha is wearing
yellow colored “Ghangra” and “Choli”.
The attendant standing striped Ghangra Choli of light purple colors. Both
the Tree and a mound are in the background. The leaves of the trees are
shown clearly in cluster of repeating pattern. Each leaf of the tree reveals
the artist’s delight in rendering details. The mound is drawn in typical
Rajasthan style.

(B.) The Pahari School of Miniature Painting

Origin and Development:-

Gular is the supposed to be the place of origin of Pahari School according
to different scholars. Some scholars consider Basohli as the origin place of
Pahari School. In 1780 A.D., the ‘Gular Kalam’ was at its peak. Then it
entered Kangra and came to be known as ‘Kangra Kalam’. Aurangzeb was a cruel
Mughal ruler, He hated painting and music. So, most of the Mughal artist
went to hill where they got shelter and there they invented a different new
style of painting known as Pahari School of Art. In the beginning, Pahari
School flourished as a folk art, but after getting patronage from king of
that place who were religious-minded, it came to be known as ‘Pahari Kalam’.
Some scholars consider Gular as the place of origin of Pahari School for
many different reasons. Firstly, the kings of Gular had friendly relations
with Mughal emperors. 
There can be the possibility that the artist from Gular might have shifted
to Delhi or the Mughal artists might have shifted to Gular as it was nearer
place for shelter and they might have renewed the folk art Gular by adding
some newness to it. Some scholars consider that due to Aurangzeb’s cruelity,
Mughal artist might have shifted to Basohli and according to them, Basohli
which flourished under Raja Kirpal Pal is the origin place of Pahari School.
The oldest Kangra paintings are connected with Gular where Raja Goverdhan
Chand and his family have been depicted. After him Raja Prakash Chand and
then Raja Bhoop Singh came into power. Then under Raja Sansar Chand’s
patronage, finest paintings were created. This Raja Sansar Chand’s period is
considered to be the ‘Golden Period’ of Kangra School.

The Main Characteristics or features of Pahari School of Miniature Painting

  • Depiction of Women : Faces of women are in profile and are
    round in shape. Their nose is almost in line with forehead, eyes are
    long, narrow and expressive like bows and the chin is sharp.
  • Depiction of line : Rhythmic lines have been depicted
    which are smooth in nature and are very fine. The drawings of eyes are
    very fine and worth praising.
  • Colour Scheme : Mostly Primary colours have been used.
    Some colours like pink, mauve, grey and green have also been used.
    Golden colour is used in large scale. Thered coloured borders have been
    used having an influence of Mughal Style. The colours are strong and
    contrasting. In the garments and ornaments, golden and silver colours
    have been used. The lightning has been shown through silver
  • Garments : Choli, Lehanga and Transparent Odhanis have
    been worn by women. Male have been shown in Pyjamas, Turban and
  • Depiction of Nature : Trees, clouds, jungales, mountains,
    foliagr, rivers, aquatic birds etc. have been depicted beautifully. The
    rainy season and lighening effects have been nicely painted.
  • Perspective : In spite of having no proper perspective,
    the Pahari paintings appeal to us.
  • Romantic Scenes : Many romantic scenes have been found in Pahari style.
    Krishna symbolizes ‘God’ (Hero) and Radha symbolizes ‘Soul’ (Heroine) in
    many of these painting.

The Pahari paintings:

Krishna with Gopies Manaku Basohli
Bharat Worshipping Charan-Padukas of Rama Unknown Guler
Cosmic Dance of Shiva Unknown Chamba
Nand, Yashoda and Krishna with Kinsmen going to Vrindavana Nainsukh Kangra
Radha and Krishna Looking into a Mirror Unknown Garhwal

Krishna with Gopies (Manaku):- 

The painting ‘Krishna with Gopies’ is based on Jaydwa’s ‘Geat-Gobinda’- painted by famous painter Manaku. It
is supposed that it was painted for a private patron Malini. The painting
presents Krishna surrounded by Gopies singing and dancing on the back of river
Yamuna. The composition is in typical Basholi style with geometrical pattern.
The use of bold colour infused vitality in the painting. Krishna is wearing a
bright yellow dress with his upper body naked but ornamented. He is also
wearing a crown with jewels and peacock plumes. There is no use of perspective
but colour combination with golden background has been given sufficient depth
to the painting. The clarity of the designs and lines and intensity of felling
is achieved by the use of colour like golden yellow, Vermilion mixed with
colour tones of blue and green enhancing the felling of intensity and the
beauty of the painting. In this painting, the human figures a backward sloping
forehead, lotus like large eyes, high nose almost in the same line of forehead
and powerful bodies presented idealistic body symmetry and lent distinction to
the Gopies figure. The shining emerald in the ornaments pieces of iridescent
bettle-wings are used in the illustration of the jewels. Besides the bold
colour lustrous enamel like colour is also employed. The figure of women are
shown clad in rich costumers, stylized faces, bulging eyes lend a natural
stage like setting for the group. This is one of the best paintings drawn by
Manaku expressing the beauty and brilliance of Basholi style. Bharat

Charan-Padukas of Rama:- 

In this painting has been painted the episode of the Ramayana in which has
been shown Bharat having been substituted Rama’s Padukas on an ornamented
bedstead at an appropriate place in Ayodhya, worshipping them with his
councilors. To protect Rama’s Padukas, they have encircled with a canopy or
tent that has been fixed under a tall tree and to honour them double-levelled
royal umbrellas have been installed. Numerous official in vivid dresses of the
Mughal style are standing, with folding hands, in queues; whereas one man has
shown doing obeisance in Islamic style. The leaves of the trees have been
painted very delicately. In background, there are hills. In right side, on a
height, has been shown a white palace. Down that in the valley has been shown
running a river. In back side has been shown indistinct and obscure figures.

Cosmic Dance of Shiva:-

This miniature painting belongs to Chamba (Pahari) sub-school. In dark
background has been shown Shiva doing cosmic dance. In left side have been
shown, standing in motley costumes, mother Parvati, child Ganesh, Kartikeya
and ox Nandi, who are watching Shiva engaged in dancing. In right side has
been shown Banasura playing on the Tambourine Mridang and other devotees of
Shiva playing on the various musical instruments. Shiva’s hair are scattered
in form of tangled hair. There is a snake round his neck and down the loins is
tied skin of a tiger. In this painting, the sky has been shown in dark blue
colour to specify white cloud, on that has been made a white stripe. This
painting, very simply, presents the glimpse of divine mysticism. Nand, Yashoda
and Krishna with 

Kinsmen going to Vrindavana (Nainsukh):-

In this painting, the inhabitants of Gokul as well as Nand, Yashoda and
Krishna have been shown going to Vrindavana. Based on episode of Bhagvat Puran
and painted in Kangra style. In this painting have been shown thirteen human
figures. Three of them have been shown swimming in the Yamuna. Rest of the
figures have been shown in various countenances and wearing clothes of vivid
colours, on other side of the river. Krishna has been shown in blue colour,
half naked but wearing different ornaments made of gold. There is a golden
crown on his head. All the persons are half naked except Nand and Yashoda. One
other crowned person, who has put on blue-coloured costume, is possibly
Balram, raising one of his hands up is signaling towards Vrindavana. All the
human figures have worn stripped clothes down the loins and their heads have
have also been covered with multi-coloured cloth. On left bank of the river,
there is a bird sitting on a cut stem of a heavy tree. On other stem has also
been shown a sitting bird. In right side of the painting is a tree on which
have been shown coiled round creepers. In the background, there is sky
surrounded with clouds, and through them are peeping out the golden buildings
of Vrindavana. The ground of the other side of the river has been shown filled
with greenery.

Radha and Krishna Looking into a Mirror:-

This painting was painted in Garhwal (Pahari) style; in this painting have been
shown Radha and Krishna sitting in balcony side on a well trimmed yellow
coloured bedsheet bed. Krishna has been holding a mirror in one of his hands,
and Radha-Krishna are very intently looking at each other’s image into that. Two
female attendants are sitting in opposite directions in the front side of the
painting; one of them has turned her neck towards Radha-Krishna and enjoying
seeing them sitting together. The interior part of this mansion has been
decorated with a peculiar combination of light yellow and white colours. Out of
balcony have been shown flowering plants. In this painting, the rhythm city of
lines and placidity of colours is matchless.



The Mughal School of Miniature Painting

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