Paintings of Telangana

Paintings of Telangana:-

Telangana is developed with the art from the time of Chalukyas and then the Kakatiya and later the Vijaynagara rulers. During the time of Mughal era, the Mughal paintings came into South India and became popular till the time of Nizams of Hyderabad. While on the contrary, the rural paintings in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh began to turn down from the medieval era. Different NGOS and the self help organisations of both private and public sectors promote the Nirmal paintings, the one and only rural art of Telangana, a recently formed state in India with Hyderabad as its capital for 10 years. Paintings of Telangana cover the rural paintings of Nirmal, Deccani Painting, Vijayanagar Paintings, Cheriyal Scroll Paintings and the Mughal Paintings. These paintings of Telangana are the pride of the state. People from far off places come and visit this place to see the paintings in different museums of Telangana.

Following are the different types of Paintings of Telangana:

Cheriyal Scroll Paintings of Telangana:-

Cheriyal Scroll Painting is a popular and modified version of Nakashi art, considered highly rich in the local motifs. This art form is unique to the state of Telangana and made mostly in Hyderabad currently. These scrolls are painted in narrative format similar to a film roll or even comic strips, and depict stories from the Indian mythology as well as the shorter stories related to the Puranas and Epics. Scroll paintings are known for their rich history and they also assume a significant role among Asia’s artistic traditions. The Cheriyal paintings represent a distinct local invention, based mainly on local traditions. The Nakashis are the artists of Telangana and the scrolls constitute a key element of the social and cultural setting of Telangana. These paintings were mostly confined to Cheriyal village, and hence called Cheriyal scrolls. The scrolls earlier depicted the adventures and the exploits of local folk heroes wherein each community had its popular heroes. This traditional art form is considered an inseparable part of the profession comprising the story-telling and balladeer community called Kaki Padagollu. They have displayed these scrolls which are also accompanied by music and dance. The scrolls would be flowing like a film roll, which is usually nearly three feet in width and about 40 to 45 feet in length, based on the story. The traditional scrolls are mostly of vertical format and illustrate the stories through a series of horizontal panels. Here, there is a floral border in the middle separating the two panels, and the linear narrative is shown, being held with both hands or suspended from a tree. It is further rolled continually. Compared to the long scrolls in the past, now artists have adapted to paint smaller versions of these scrolls that only depict any single episode or few characters from the traditional stories. These can be framed easily and hung on walls of modern homes. The canvas making is an elaborate procedure. It is made of Khadi cotton, starch, white mud and a paste of tamarind seeds and gum water. After the canvas is complete, the artists prepare the outline directly using a brush on the canvas. These outlines are defined clearly and appear sharp which shows the quality as well as the skill of the Cheriyal craftsman. At present, the Cheriyal painting work is being continued by some selected families. There are only few artists remaining who still paint, making use of this unique technique. One of the recent innovations is the painting of single pictures instead of a continuous scroll for the purpose of wall decorations. Cheriyal Painting is easily recognized by certain unique characteristics: These are painted in vivid hues with mostly primary colors, showing a predominance of red color in the background. These paintings are characterized by unbridled imaginations of the local artisans. In this form of art, the iconography of major deities like Vishnu, Shiva, etc. too carry a strong local idiom. The subjects Paintings of Telanganaof the scroll paintings are mostly drawn from mythological, ancient literary and folk traditions. The major themes are Krishna Leela, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Shiva Puranam, Markandey Puranam along with the ballads and folk stories of Gauda, Madiga and other communities. The main narrative involves scenes from the common rural life such as women performing kitchen chores, men working in fields or experiencing merry, festival settings, etc. The costumes and settings reflect the culture of Telangana. Cheriyal Painting is widely popular due to the unique rural element which renders an aura of exclusivity and charm for the art items. It represents the pride of Telangana, especially the region’s tryst with such rare and unique art forms. Cheriyal scroll painting also received Intellectual Property Rights Protection, commonly called the Geographical Indication (GI) tag in the year 2007. It is a matter of academic interest for painters all over India and the world, who study the art work with attention to detail and efforts are on to preserve this rich tradition for posterity by actively promoting the tradition of Cheriyal Painting.

Nirmal Paintings of Telangana: –

Nirmal town is located amidst the dense forests of the newly created Nirmal district (erstwhile Adilabad District) in Telangana. This town is considered the gifted land of art and crafts, and is popular all over the country. The art and craft community of craftsmen living in Nirmal are also called as ‘Naqash’. This town is quite famous for the Nirmal paintings and toys. From the rustic ethos to the royal environment, from flora to fauna, an explicit array of expressions is portrayed in myriad colours and forms on Nirmal products. This art form named after its place of origin, Nirmal is being practiced by the ‘Naqash’ right from the 14th century. Nirmal Paintings depict the traditional art scenes related to the Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. These paintings were influenced by the Indian Schools of Art like Kangra, Ajanta as well as Mughal miniatures. The evolution of the Nirmal art and craft is also traced back to the old era of Kakatiya dynasty. The Mughal rulers were so enraptured by the Nirmal paintings, that they patronized this art greatly. It is said that once the Nizam of Hyderabad was accorded a grand welcome when he visited Nirmal. The artisans decorated the venue and the seat of the Nizam in a grand manner with an intricately designed banana bud, believed to have been suspended over the Nizam’s seat. This was unfurled while there was a cascade of golden petals showered on him. This led to the Nizam patronizing the artisans, impressed by their skill. In the 1950’s, Lady Hyder brought the artisans to Hyderabad and promoted this craft, under the Cottage Industries division in the Nizam’s government. Over the last few decades, Nirmal work has been evolving in order to cater to new demands from the customers. There has been a transition from the painters of the epics to painting motifs in the old Indian school style. The Moghul miniatures are also crafted on soft white wood, called Puniki and these are eventually painted. The technique involves application of luppam on wood surface and then painting the precise design. The colors used in Nirmal paintings are mostly the familiar gold color. The paintings make use of organic colors produced naturally from the extracts of herbs, vegetable dye, gum, and minerals etc. The paintings depict scenes ranging from the grace of a dancer or a musician’s rhythm to birds, panoramic nature settings, and they fully captivate the attention of the viewer. First the wood is cut into required size and a rectangular frame is made. The frame is smoothened using sand paper. The frame is also coated with several coats of luppam paint. Luppam Paint (NC patti) is coated on the rectangular shaped wood board for about 5 to 6 times. This paint absorbs the moisture from the wood and helps the wood to last for many years. After applying luppam paint, various colors are used for painting the background. Finally, the prepared wooden plank is joined to the frame. Usually, the board sizes are of 8/11, 17/11 and 24/16 dimensions. The process in which Nirmal painting is done varies slightly from making toys. In this process, initially lacquering of the wood surface is done followed by painting according to the precise design. After painting, the plaque is given a coat of Duco paint using the desired background color. In earlier days, white wood of Tella Poniki tree was used as paint board for painting, which is fascinatingly outstanding. With changes over many years, the artisans introduced Indian teak wood due to its soft grain texture, strength, and lightweight and lifetime quality. Traditional designs are traced or drawn in chalk on smoothened wood or composition board and are painted in flat, bright colors and often touched up with gold and then varnished. Once the paintings are completed, clear spray is used on the frames for water resistance and luster. The Nirmal painting of Mughal miniatures is highly attractive. With aging, they acquire a special muted glow that is considered impeccable. Nirmal town has become synonymous with exquisite painting all over the world and is a matter of pride for Telangana. Nirmal craftsmen also create lacquered furniture, boxes, bowls, large screens, trays, toys, and pictures, which are painted with finesse and attention to detail. Frames, shields and corporate gifts, name plates, Utility items constitute the range of products. There are paintings done even on the door, wall decoration etc. The paintings are gifted as souvenirs and are considered as proud possessions by lovers of art and art collectors. Painters and artists from all over India visit Nirmal to not only buy these masterpieces but also research the methodology in which the paintings are done, right from preparation of the canvass to the extraction of organic colors and style of painting. Nirmal paintings are popular for many decades and the government of Telangana is making all efforts for promoting a global identity for the one-of- its-kind Nirmal Paintings and art works. The paintings are also exported to Australia, USA and UK through Golkonda handicrafts emporia (TS Govt Undertaking).

Batik Paintings of Telangana:-

Batik painting is a highly beautiful and an ancient art form. Batik paintings represent a highly unique form of art involving various figures and patterns drawn on the pieces of fabrics. These paintings are believed to have originated in Indonesia wherein the original word referred to the dots on clothes. Batik represents the wax-resist dye technique, used in textiles. This art is believed to be more than one thousand years old. Batik art work is widely practised in regions like Java (Indonesia) and India. India is known for its rich tradition in Batik paintings and truly exquisite works of Batik art continue to be procured from different regions of India. Batik artists make use of dyes as color. This is an integral part of the batik art work. A batik artist should have a good sense of the colors and patterns. For creating an attractive piece of Batik painting, the batik artist works with more emphasis on color, wherein multiple layers of wax and dye is applied to the fabric. Batik actually refers to a process of decorating cloth where one part of this cloth is covered with a coat of wax followed by dyeing of the cloth. The waxed areas would retain their original color and after wax is removed, the contrast levels between the dyed and the non-dyed areas give an attractive pattern. The elaborate art of Batik is actually a three-stage process which involves stages like waxing, dyeing and also de-waxing (removing the wax). There are other sub-processes as well like preparing the cloths and the designs, where the cloth is stretched on the frame followed by waxing the area of the cloth that does not need dyeing. This is followed by preparing the dye, dipping the cloth in the dye and eventually boiling the cloth for removing wax and washing of the dyed cloth in soap. The entire process of waxing, dyeing and de-waxing is even repeated multiple times until the whole batik design or fabric is completed. The characteristic designs of batik are observed due to the fine cracks appearing in the wax, which ensures that the small amounts of the dye, actually seeps in. Batik waxing is considered an important part of the entire process of batik printing. The common batik fabrics which are used for excellent batik prints are poplin, voiles, cambric, and pure silk. Natural colors that are derived from barks of trees, flower, leaves, and minerals are also used. Batik is also made in several ways such as screen-printing method, splash method, and the hand painting one with the help of a Kalamkari pen. Each piece of Batik painting has a unique feel as a result of the endless combinations of the dye coloring, wax effects and the fabric types. The Batik painting technique also involves great precision and concentration. Batik wall hangings are considered a hot favourite with the art lovers. Traditionally, the Batik paintings are made of dark brown, indigo and white colors, representing the three major Hindu Gods i.e. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Batik printed saris, kurtis and wrappers are some of the most preferred choices among the fashion loving people. Indian cotton and dyes are considered very popular for use in Batik.

Deccani Paintings of Telangana:-

Deccan is derived from Dakshina. Deccan region is a geographical term that refers to the plateau in South Central India ruled by Hindu kings, when the first Muslim sultanates of Paintings of TelanganaIndia were established in Delhi. Deccani painting is a style of miniature painting. This type of painting is flourished from the late 16th century among the Deccani sultanates in peninsular India. The style of Deccan region is a sensitive, highly included blend of original and foreign art forms. The lengthened figures are apparently related to Vijayanagar wall paintings, while the floral-sprigged backgrounds, high horizons and general use of landscape show Persian influence. The paintings of Deccan used colours, which are rich and luminous and much use is made of gold and white.

Mughal Painting:-

Mughal painting was basically a square art of Delhi. But it reached all over India due to the royal fame. It was developed under the patronage of the ruling Mughal emperors and began to decline when the rulers lost interest in the latter half of medieval era. The subjects treated were generally secular, consisting of illustrations to historical works and Persian and Indian literature, portraits of the emperor and his court, studies of natural life, and genre scenes. The school had its beginnings during the reign of the emperor Humayun, who invited two Persian artists to join him in India. From that time onwards the Mughal Painting gained importance in South Indian state where Hoysala, Vijaynagara and Chalukyas were foremost.

Vijaynagar Paintings of Telangana:-

Vijaynagar Paintings gained popularity in the medieval era, when the medieval rulers of Vijaynagara ruled this region. The paintings of the Vijayanagar represent the great revival of Hindu religion and art in South India. During the Vijayanagar era, the wall paintings made a comeback. The best representation of these paintings can be seen in the Virabhadra temple at Lepakshi. Vijayanagar Paintings at Lepakshi are very decorative in style. In most of the Vijayanagar paintings, the human faces usually appear in the profile, figures stand with a slight slant with both feet pointing in the same direction. Some of these Vijayanagar paintings portray the scenes of wedding of Draupadi and Kiratarjunya. Few other pictures show Viruppanna and Viranna with their sons and guards. They are shown wearing long white fine clothes with a printed cloth round their waist. All these paintings are more expensive than any diamonds in the world.

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