This art is considered an important and popular Rajasthan style of Indian miniature painting. This Bundi school has an association with the Mughal style, which was never fundamental in the evolution or growth of Bundi paintings. But the delicacy of the Mughal style was not abandoned. Palace’s walls and ceilings are covered with paintings of Bundi school and are still in very good condition. These paintings are sheer art of excellence. This art originated in the 17th century in the princely state of Bundi. These Bundi paintings portray artists, royalty’s lifestyles, battlefields, festivals, and horse races. They are beautifully portrayed in these miniature paintings. These paintings became an important source to understand the social, political, and religious aspects of that period in Rajasthan. These paintings have always enjoyed a special place of pride and dignity in art museums. The contribution of these paintings to Indian art has surpassed a long time ago.
Bundi painting characterizes –
- Admiration for lush vegetation with flora and fauna·
- Wildlife and Birds·
- Dramatic skies·
- Vivid movement·
- Feminine Beauty·
- Ladies are portrayed as petite round faces, receding foreheads, sharp noses, full cheeks, and sharply pencilled eyebrows·
- Costumes consist of skirt like Ghagras, very high choli blouse and orhnis or veil.
- Ladies are shown with jewellery with armlets. Ladies wore pearls. ·
- Paintings are made in open courtyards or inside pavilions with lush green vegetation as backdrop.
Themes of paintings are –
- Love was depicted through religious subjects such as Krishna and Radha.
- Women were treated with classification of heroine according to their age. ·
- These paintings portray different emotional states such as love, togetherness, jealousy, anger etc.
- The court room scenes, historic moments, wars and victories. ·
- Dance performances, rituals, festivals and wedding processions, portraits of king’s, birds and animals and artisans were expert in painting elephants and produce some exquisite studies of elephants.
Colours used –
- Colours used are organic which is sources from minerals and precious metals as God and silver·
- Powder of these materials are mixed with glue
- Artists used camel and squirrel hairbrushes·
- Painting gives uniform sheen and appealing vibrancy
- Bundi paintings are not able to differentiated from kota school of paintings. These paintings are used to decorate the kings and Queens or palaces.
- Significance – The miniature paintings are skill of perseverance and patience. Each painting takes months to create, while some of them take years to finish. These paintings are handmade, which are small and colourful. The intricate and delicate work gives them a unique identity and significance in history. These paintings have mutual influence.
- Design – The colour added to Bundi’s painting is a special feature. The colours used in paintings are rich and bright. These paintings are mostly inspired by nature and epics. The artists took special attention while portraying different characteristics of people, characters and flowing rivers.
Challenges being faced by artisans –
Presently, Bundi artists are facing few challenges towards the craft. Few challenges are mentioned –
- · Handful of artisans are practicing the craft·
- Younger generation not interested to continue this craft. ·
- Employment opportunities are limited·
- Art is lacking creativity and slow losing its craftsmanship due to a smaller number of craftsmen involvement in the craft·
- Pandemic hit has affected the Bundy Artisans. Most of the remaining artists shifted their crafts, leaving behind the age-old craft.