Back to Course

History (Optional) Notes, Mindmaps & Related Current Affairs

0% Complete
0/0 Steps

    How to use
  2. FREE Samples
    4 Submodules
    1. Sources
    9 Submodules
  4. 2. Pre-history and Proto-history
    3 Submodules
  5. 3. Indus Valley Civilization
    8 Submodules
  6. 4. Megalithic Cultures
    3 Submodules
  7. 5. Aryans and Vedic Period
    8 Submodules
  8. 6. Period of Mahajanapadas
    10 Submodules
  9. 7. Mauryan Empire
    7 Submodules
  10. 8. Post – Mauryan Period
    7 Submodules
  11. 9. Early State and Society in Eastern India, Deccan and South India
    9 Submodules
  12. 10. Guptas, Vakatakas and Vardhanas
    14 Submodules
  13. 11. The Regional States during the Gupta Era
    18 Submodules
  14. 12. Themes in Early Indian Cultural History
    9 Submodules
    13. Early Medieval India (750-1200)
    9 Submodules
  16. 14. Cultural Traditions in India (750-1200)
    11 Submodules
  17. 15. The Thirteenth Century
    2 Submodules
  18. 16. The Fourteenth Century
    6 Submodules
  19. 17. Administration, Society, Culture, Economy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
    13 Submodules
  20. 18. The Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Century – Political Developments and Economy
    14 Submodules
  21. 19. The Fifteenth and early Sixteenth Century – Society and Culture
    3 Submodules
  22. 20. Akbar
    8 Submodules
  23. 21. Mughal Empire in the Seventeenth Century
    7 Submodules
  24. 22. Economy and Society in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
    11 Submodules
  25. 23. Culture in the Mughal Empire
    8 Submodules
  26. 24. The Eighteenth Century
    7 Submodules
    1. European Penetration into India
    6 Submodules
  28. 2. British Expansion in India
    4 Submodules
  29. 3. Early Structure of the British Raj
    8 Submodules
  30. 4. Economic Impact of British Colonial Rule
    12 Submodules
  31. 5. Social and Cultural Developments
    7 Submodules
  32. 6. Social and Religious Reform movements in Bengal and Other Areas
    8 Submodules
  33. 7. Indian Response to British Rule
    8 Submodules
  34. 8. Indian Nationalism - Part I
    11 Submodules
  35. 9. Indian Nationalism - Part II
    9 Submodules
  36. 10. Constitutional Developments in Colonial India between 1858 and 1935
  37. 11. Other strands in the National Movement (Revolutionaries & the Left)
  38. 12. Politics of Separatism
  39. 13. Consolidation as a Nation
  40. 14. Caste and Ethnicity after 1947
  41. 15. Economic development and political change
    16. Enlightenment and Modern ideas
  43. 17. Origins of Modern Politics
  44. 18. Industrialization
  45. 19. Nation-State System
  46. 20. Imperialism and Colonialism
  47. 21. Revolution and Counter-Revolution
  48. 22. World Wars
  49. 23. The World after World War II
  50. 24. Liberation from Colonial Rule
  51. 25. Decolonization and Underdevelopment
  52. 26. Unification of Europe
  53. 27. Disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Rise of the Unipolar World
Module Progress
0% Complete


Rajput painting, also known as Rajasthani painting, holds a significant place in the rich tapestry of Indian art. Emerging and flourishing within the royal courts of Rajputana in northern India, this exquisite form of artistic expression evolved during the late 15th to the 18th centuries. Often referred to as Rajasthani painting, it captures the essence of a bygone era and reflects the cultural richness of the region.

Characteristics of Rajput Painting:

  • Distinct Aesthetic Qualities: Rajput paintings are characterized by a unique set of aesthetic qualities that set them apart from other artistic traditions. These qualities contribute to the charm and allure that define Rajput painting.
  • Notable Distinctiveness: The distinctiveness of Rajput painting lies in its intricate details, vibrant colors, and emotive storytelling. These elements combine to create a visual language that speaks of the cultural richness and artistic finesse of the Rajput courts.
  • Ananda K. Coomaraswamy’s Perspective: Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, a renowned scholar of Indian art, provided insights into the evolution of Rajput painting. His perspective sheds light on the historical and artistic factors that contributed to the formation of this distinctive style.
  • Consummation of Style Around 1600: Around the year 1600, Rajput painting reached a point of consummation. It was during this time that the various elements of the style came together harmoniously, creating a mature and refined expression of Rajput artistic sensibilities.

Origin and Development:

  • Emergence in Mewar:
    Rajput painting originated in the historical region of Mewar. This creative expression found its initial roots within the boundaries of Mewar’s royal courts, marking the inception of a distinctive artistic journey.
  • Gradual Spread to Other States:
    The art form gradually extended its influence beyond Mewar, encompassing other Rajput states such as Marwar, Bikaner, Bundi, and more. This expansion led to the diversification and enrichment of the Rajput painting style across various regions.
  • Influence of Western Painting:
    Rajput painting was not isolated; it drew inspiration from pre-existing traditions, including western painting. The interplay of these influences contributed to the unique fusion of styles that characterize Rajput painting.
  • Later Mughal Influence:
    Over time, the Mughal influence began to make its presence felt in Rajput painting. This infusion of Mughal artistic elements added a new layer to the evolving style, resulting in a dynamic blend of Rajput and Mughal aesthetics.
  • Vigorous Early Phase:
    In its nascent stages, Rajput painting exhibited a remarkable vigour and vitality. This vitality is reflected in the vibrant compositions, bold colors, and confident brushwork that defined the early Rajput painting style.
  • Absorption of Mughal Influence:
    While the early phase was characterized by its distinctiveness, the influence of the Mughal style gradually made its way into Rajput painting. The absorption of Mughal influences enriched the visual language and expanded the artistic repertoire.
  • Flourishing Under Rajput Patronage:
    Following the decline of Mughal power, Rajput painting experienced a renaissance under the patronage of various Rajput kingdoms. The support and sponsorship of these kingdoms nurtured the growth and flourishing of Rajput painting, ensuring its enduring legacy.

Themes and Styles:

  • Adoption of Nature as the Main Theme:
    Rajput painting embraced nature as a primary theme, capturing the beauty of the natural world in its intricate brushstrokes. The canvas became a canvas for depicting the diverse elements of nature’s splendor.
  • Influence of Bhakti Movement and Vernacular Trends:
    The influence of the Bhakti movement and the vernacular trends of the time found their way into Rajput painting’s thematic content. Themes infused with devotion, spirituality, and regional cultural nuances shaped the narratives.
  • Illustration of Popular Literary Works:
    Rajput painting became a visual counterpart to some of the era’s most cherished literary works. The brush of the artist translated the verses of epics like the Bhagvata Purana and Gita Govinda into captivating visual stories.
  • Depiction of Celestial Lovers:
    The heroes and heroines depicted in Rajput painting often assumed the guise of celestial lovers, Radha and Krishna. This portrayal brought to life the ethereal romance and timeless devotion that resonated with the cultural ethos.
  • Landscape-Like Illustrations with Subordinate Figures:
    The illustrations in Rajput painting often resembled landscapes, where human figures played a complementary role. Nature, with its diverse elements, took center stage, while human figures found their place within the broader canvas of the environment.

Varieties of Rajput Painting Forms:

  • Diverse Forms of Expression:
    Rajput painting manifested itself in a range of artistic forms, each contributing to the rich tapestry of this style. These forms encompassed miniature painting, book illustration, portraiture, and murals.
  • Preference for Miniatures in Manuscripts and Albums:
    Miniature painting emerged as a favored medium for Rajput artists. Manuscripts and albums became the canvas for their intricate creations, allowing for the meticulous rendering of details within a compact space.
  • Palace Walls, Forts, Havelis, and Shekhawati Architecture:
    Beyond the confines of manuscripts and albums, Rajput paintings adorned the walls of palaces, forts, and havelis. The architectural marvels of Shekhawati, in particular, served as a canvas for these vibrant expressions, creating a living gallery within the majestic structures.

Use of Colors and Symbolism:

  • Intense Colors in Rajput Miniatures: Rajput miniatures are renowned for their vivid and intense colors that bring the artwork to life. These colors play a significant role in conveying emotions, themes, and the essence of the depicted scenes.
  • Prominent Colors and Their Symbolism: Rajput paintings make use of specific colors that hold symbolic significance. These colors include:
    • Deep Blue: Representing clouds, deep blue symbolizes an element of the celestial and the divine, often portraying a sense of grandeur and majesty.
    • Gold: Streaks of gold mimic flashes of lightning, invoking a sense of brilliance, illumination, and divine presence.
    • Emerald Green: Used for foliage, emerald green infuses the scenes with a lush and vibrant natural backdrop, signifying life, growth, and rejuvenation.
  • Use of Compartmental Pictures as Frames: Rajput paintings often feature the technique of compartmental pictures, where space is divided into segments that serve as frames for figures and groups. This technique enhances the visual composition and allows for the depiction of multiple elements within a single artwork.
  • Bright, Luminous, and Highly Decorative Style: Rajput paintings are characterized by their bright and luminous colors, creating an aura of vibrancy and energy. The highly decorative style emphasizes intricate details, patterns, and ornamentation that enhance the visual appeal.
  • Emotional Elements and Symbolism: Emotional elements and symbolism are integral to Rajput paintings. Each brushstroke carries emotional weight, and every color choice is infused with symbolism that transcends the visual realm. This emotional depth adds layers of meaning and resonance to the artwork.

Main Centers of Rajput Painting

Mewar School:

  • Overview of the Mewar School: The Mewar School of Rajput painting holds a significant place in the artistic heritage of India. Emerging from the heart of Mewar, this school reflects the unique artistic sensibilities of the region.
  • Oldest Manuscripts and Their Style: The earliest manuscripts associated with the Mewar School include the ‘Supasanachariyam’ and ‘Suparsanatham,’ painted around 1423 AD. These manuscripts exhibit traces of the Apabhransa style, characterized by distinct features like projecting eyes.
  • Development of the Mewar Style and Key Artists: The Mewar style evolved into a distinct school by the end of the 16th century. It flourished under the guidance of artists like Nisar Din (1606) and Sahib Din (1627-1648), who elevated the Mewar School to new heights. Their illustrated series covered a wide range of themes, including mythology.
  • Features of Mewar School Paintings: Mewar School paintings are distinguished by their vibrant use of colors. Bright and brilliant reds, oranges, greens, and blues are generously applied. Male and female figures are characterized by long noses, oval faces, elongated fish-like eyes, and a touch of the Apbhramsa style.
  • Sub-Styles like Nathdwara, Devgarh, and Shahpura: Within the Mewar School, sub-styles like Nathdwara, Devgarh, and Shahpura emerged, each contributing its own distinct flavor to the artistic narrative. These sub-styles added layers of diversity and innovation to the broader Mewar tradition.

Bundi School:

  • Overview of the Bundi School:
    The Bundi School of Rajput painting stands as a testament to the artistic brilliance of its time. Flourishing in the princely state of Bundi during the 17th to 19th centuries, this school left an indelible mark on the Rajput artistic landscape.
  • Influence of Mughal Style and Ragamala Series:
    The Bundi School’s journey was influenced by the popular Mughal style, which found its way into the region through the famous Ragamala series. Painted in Chunar near Banaras in 1561, this series played a pivotal role in shaping the unique identity of the Bundi School.
  • Characteristics of Bundi School Paintings:
    Bundi School paintings are characterized by their distinctive portrayal of feminine beauty. Women are depicted with small round faces, receding foreheads, prominent noses, and full cheeks. The male figures, on the other hand, exhibit slim and graceful bodies, creating a captivating contrast.
  • Depiction of Hunting, Court Scenes, Festivals, Nobles, and Lovers:
    The Bundi School paintings are a tapestry of themes, ranging from hunting scenes and courtly pursuits to festivals, nobles’ lives, and romantic narratives. Each scene is intricately woven into the canvas, capturing the essence of the princely life.
  • Bundi School’s Association with the Mughal and Its Evolution:
    While the Bundi School drew inspiration from the Mughal style, it retained its individuality and unique artistic expression. As time progressed, the school evolved, seamlessly blending Mughal influences with its own distinct characteristics. The delicate Mughal style was embraced, while the emphasis on feminine grace remained central.

Kota School:

  • Description of Kota School as a Sub-Branch of Bundi Style:
    The Kota School of Rajput painting emerges as a captivating sub-branch of the Bundi style. Situated in the southern region of Rajasthan, Kota’s artistic legacy was intertwined with Bundi’s, yet it carved its own unique path in the realm of artistic expression.
  • Similarities and Differences with Bundi Style:
    While the Kota School shares common roots with the Bundi style, it also showcases discernible variations in details, costumes, and shading techniques. The artistic dialogue between the two styles adds depth to the Kota School’s artistic identity.
  • Distinctive Features of Kota School Paintings:
    Kota School paintings exhibit a distinct blend of elegance and vibrancy. The school’s hallmark lies in its depiction of hunting scenes, which capture the nobles and princes engaged in hunting lions and tigers against the backdrop of rocky forests.
  • Focus on Hunting Scenes, Nature, and Portraits:
    The Kota School’s unique focus on hunting scenes brings life to the canvas. The paintings also celebrate the natural beauty of the region, with lush landscapes painted in vibrant colors. Portraits play a significant role, capturing the essence of the rulers and nobles.
  • Revival and Evolution of Kota Paintings Under Different Rulers:
    Over time, the Kota School experienced revival and evolution under the patronage of different rulers. Artists under Jagat Singh, Arjun Singh, and Ram Singh II’s reigns contributed to the school’s artistic growth. Scenes of worship, durbar, and processions adorned the paintings during Ram Singh II’s rule.

Kishangarh School:

  • Lyrical and Sensuous Nature of Kishangarh Style:
    The Kishangarh School of Rajput painting emerges as a lyrical and sensuous journey into artistic expression. Characterized by refined features and a unique religious intensity, the school’s paintings evoke a blend of emotions through their exquisite compositions.
  • Distinctive Features of Male and Female Figures:
    The Kishangarh School’s hallmark lies in its portrayal of male and female figures. Men and women are depicted with pointed noses and chins, deeply curved eyes, and serpentine locks of hair. This unique artistic style captures the essence of the subjects’ emotions.
  • Influence of Maharaja Sawant Singh and Radha-Krishna Theme:
    Under the influence of Maharaja Sawant Singh, the Kishangarh School embraced the Radha-Krishna theme. This divine love story became a central motif, allowing artists to channel their emotions and create visuals that resonate with devotion and spiritual intensity.
  • Impact of Raja Savant Singh on Kishangarh Art:
    Raja Savant Singh, also known as Nagari Das, played a pivotal role in shaping the Kishangarh School’s artistic direction. His deep devotion to the Vallabhacharya sect and his love for the divine lover Krishna inspired a series of brilliant paintings on the Radha-Krishna theme.
  • Prominent Artists Like Nihal Chand and Their Contributions:
    Within the Kishangarh School, artists like Nihal Chand stand as torchbearers of the school’s artistic brilliance. Nihal Chand’s talent was instrumental in translating the poetic and religious passions of the patrons into fresh visual narratives that continue to captivate viewers.

Bikaner Style:

  • Development of Bikaner Style with Mughal Influence:
    The Bikaner Style of Rajput painting blossomed in the late 17th century, fostered by the migration of artists from the imperial Mughal workshops. As the Mughal patronage waned under the reign of Aurangzeb, these artists found a new home in Bikaner and brought with them the richness of Mughal artistic traditions.
  • Relationship with Mughal Emperors and Artists:
    The Bikaner rulers maintained a close association with Mughal emperors, most notably Raja Rai Singh’s proximity to Akbar and Jahangir. This connection facilitated a vibrant exchange of artistic ideas and techniques, which left an indelible mark on the Bikaner Style.
  • Unique Characteristics of Bikaner Style Paintings:
    Bikaner Style paintings bear the imprint of both Mughal and Deccan influences, making them stand out as a unique blend of artistic expressions. Court portraits and intricate illustrations of Hindu texts are hallmarks of this style, reflecting the diverse inspirations that shaped its evolution.
  • Depiction of Court Portraits and Hindu Texts:
    The Bikaner Style is distinguished by its portrayal of courtly life and court portraits, capturing the splendor and nobility of the era. Additionally, Hindu texts find their visual voice in these paintings, as mythological narratives come to life with exquisite detail and reverence.
  • Blend of Mughal and Deccan Elements in Bikaner Paintings:
    The Bikaner Style bridges the gap between Mughal and Deccan elements, fusing the intricate techniques of Mughal artistry with the vibrant energy of Deccani aesthetics. This amalgamation gives birth to a distinctive artistic language that is both captivating and harmonious.

Jaipur Style:

  • Emergence of Jaipur Style in the 18th Century:
    The Jaipur Style of Rajput painting emerged in the 18th century, marking a distinctive chapter in the realm of artistic expression. Rooted in the historical context of its time, this style captured the essence of Jaipur’s cultural identity and artistic evolution.
  • Influence of Mughal and Amber Styles on Jaipur Paintings:
    The Jaipur Style draws influences from both the Mughal and Amber styles, infusing its compositions with a fusion of intricate techniques and elegant aesthetics. The artistic heritage of Amber and the Mughal court converged to shape the Jaipur Style’s unique visual language.
  • Evolution of Style Under Different Rulers:
    As different rulers ascended the throne, the Jaipur Style underwent an evolution that reflected their individual artistic preferences and cultural aspirations. This evolution imbued the style with diverse dimensions, contributing to its dynamic and multifaceted nature.
  • Unique Features of Jaipur Style Portraits and Compositions:
    The hallmark of the Jaipur Style lies in its portrayal of subjects with distinct features and compositions. Portraits are characterized by clean and attractive faces, while compositions often echo the romanticism of love, the grandeur of mythology, and the opulence of royal splendor.
  • Subjects like Love, Mythology, and Royal Splendor in Jaipur Paintings:
    Love, mythology, and the splendor of the royal court are recurrent themes in Jaipur paintings. The style beautifully captures the nuances of these subjects, rendering them with intricate detailing, vibrant colors, and a touch of poetic elegance.

Shekhawati Style:

  • Focus on Shekhawati Region and Its Havelis:
    The Shekhawati region, known for its vibrant artistic heritage, boasts a unique style of painting that adorns the walls of its exquisite havelis. These havelis, built by prosperous merchants of the past, stand as captivating canvases that tell tales of culture, history, and creativity.
  • Richly Painted and Decorated Havelis of the Past:
    The hallmark of the Shekhawati Style lies in the richly painted and decorated havelis that dot the landscape. These architectural wonders serve as living testimonials to the artistic prowess of a bygone era, their walls narrating stories of opulence and innovation.
  • Unique Features of Shekhawati Style Paintings:
    Shekhawati style paintings are characterized by their intricate detailing and vibrant colors that enliven the walls of havelis. These paintings possess a distinctive charm that captures the essence of the region’s cultural heritage and its flourishing trade history.
  • Depiction of Victorian-Age Elements and Impact of British Rule:
    An intriguing aspect of Shekhawati style paintings is the incorporation of Victorian-age elements and the impact of British rule. Through artistic depictions, the paintings reflect the changing times, capturing influences of the Company style, railway trains, bicycles, and other artifacts of the Victorian era.
  • Distinctive Characteristics of Shekhawati Frescoes:
    The frescoes of Shekhawati style paintings vividly portray the transformations brought about by British rule. These distinctive characteristics manifest in the form of painted images showcasing societal shifts, changing lifestyles, and the evolving dynamics of a region in transition.

Differences Between Mughal and Rajput Paintings:

  • Contrasting Themes and Subjects in Mughal and Rajput Paintings:
    Mughal paintings often centered around courtly scenes, hunting, and displays of royal grandeur. In contrast, Rajput paintings embraced themes like Bhakti movement, love, romance, and mythology. The diversity in subject matter marked a significant divergence between the two styles.
  • Emotional and Intellectual Nature of Mughal and Rajput Styles:
    Mughal paintings leaned towards intellectual portrayal, capturing historical events and formal court settings. On the other hand, Rajput paintings exuded emotion and lyrical qualities, often using poetic metaphor to evoke feelings and sentiments.
  • Symbolism, Use of Color, and Artistic Techniques:
    Symbolism played a crucial role in Rajput paintings, where different colors conveyed specific meanings. Mughal paintings, while vibrant, were less reliant on such symbolism. Additionally, Rajput paintings employed techniques like compartmental pictures as frames for figures, while Mughal paintings showcased intricate details and realistic rendering.
  • Depiction of Women and Nature in Both Styles:
    Rajput paintings had a rich portrayal of women, depicting them as celestial lovers or embodying various emotions. Mughal paintings, while occasionally depicting women, did not explore the depth and variety seen in Rajput art. Similarly, nature in Rajput paintings often took a symbolic role, whereas Mughal paintings presented nature in a more observational manner.
  • Influence of Indian Tradition and Artistic Nuances:
    Rajput paintings were deeply rooted in Indian tradition, visibly embracing cultural elements and religious themes. Mughal paintings, while embracing elements of Indian culture, also bore traces of Persian influence due to their historical connections.

Similarities and Dissimilarities Between Rajput and Pahari Paintings:

Pahari painting
  • Overview of Rajput and Pahari Painting Styles:
    Rajput paintings and Pahari paintings are two distinct styles that emerged in different regions of India. While both fall under the broader umbrella of Indian miniature painting, they developed unique characteristics over time.
  • Similarities in Royal Patronage, Themes, and Centers:
    Both Rajput and Pahari paintings enjoyed royal patronage, depicting themes of love, romance, Bhakti movement, and mythology. They flourished in various centers such as Kangra, Bikaner, and Kishangarh for Rajput paintings, and Kangra, Basohli, and Chamba for Pahari paintings.
  • Differences in Murals, Portraits, and Mughal Influence:
    Rajput paintings often adorned the walls of palaces, forts, and havelis with murals, while Pahari paintings predominantly focused on manuscripts and albums. Portraits were more prominent in Rajput art, whereas Pahari art leaned towards mythological themes. Mughal influence is more evident in Rajput paintings compared to Pahari paintings.
  • Variation in Depiction of Women, Nature, and Colors:
    Rajput paintings portrayed women with various ornaments and emotions, reflecting the depth of Rajput culture. Pahari paintings, while also depicting women, had a distinct style and portrayal. Nature was a common theme in both styles, but Rajput paintings often used it symbolically, while Pahari paintings showcased nature more as a backdrop. The use of colors, their symbolism, and vibrant shades were prominent in both styles.
  • Distinctive Elements like Rangamala Painting in Pahari Style:
    One of the distinctive features of Pahari paintings is the Rangamala painting, which beautifully combined art, music, and poetry to depict various Indian musical modes or Ragas. This unique element was not prevalent in Rajput paintings.


In conclusion, Rajput painting, also known as Rajasthani painting, emerged as a rich and diverse artistic tradition in the royal courts of Rajputana during the late 15th to 18th centuries. This style encompassed a wide range of themes, from nature and Bhakti movement influences to portraits and mythological depictions. While sharing some similarities with Pahari paintings, Rajput art developed its own distinct aesthetic qualities, symbolisms, and influences, making it a unique and treasured contribution to India’s artistic heritage.

  1. How did the Rajput painting style evolve, distinguishing it from Mughal influences? Discuss its themes, distinctive features, and the impact of Bhakti movement. (250 words)
  2. Compare and contrast the artistic nuances of the Mewar, Bundi, and Kishangarh schools within the realm of Rajput painting. Highlight their unique characteristics and contributions. (250 words)
  3. Analyze the similarities and differences between Rajput and Pahari painting styles, emphasizing themes, depiction of women, and the influence of Mughal elements on each tradition. (250 words)


Home Courses Plans Account