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  • The art of hand painting - Kalamkari

    The art of hand painting on cotton or silk fabrics which is famous as Kalamkari – is one of India’s artistic treasures, going back to the ancient Persian Empire and literally meaning “craftsmanship with pen”. It uses a tamarind pen and through the process of bleaching, painting, printing, sun drying and cleaning it creates the most beautiful and, sometimes, unusual patterns.

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    Involving a lot of hard work and difficult procedures, Kalamkari often depicts flowers, animals like the peacock or Hindu characters, allowing artists a unique process of storytelling that began ages ago, 3000 BC. It was during the Mughal Empire that this type of craftsmanship got its recognition and it was further spread around the World by the British in the 18th century.

    Involving 23 steps from the beginning until the finished product, the colours were chosen to paint the fabrics are usually earth-toned, with indigo, black, green or mustard as favourites. The dyes used to paint are also all natural, with no chemicals and obtained through the manipulation of such things as iron, pomegranate or bark.

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    Kalamkari exists in India in two different styles, Srikalahasti and Machilipatnam. The first one takes its inspiration from the Hindu mythology by describing religious stories. The second one has a more abstract design showing blocks with detailed handwork throughout. Recently two new styles appeared due to the preferences of the population in the two main Indian states using this art. The Andhra style has forts, palaces and temples in its designs and the Gujarat Kalamkari presents pictures of the Hindu or Buddhist gods, such as Lord Krishna, Lord Ganesha or Lord Buddha.

    In the past, due to the tedious and long method of producing a Kalamkari, this hand paint relic had become almost obsolete with people wanting access to cheaper products. Nevertheless, its primary use nowadays is, as in the old days, the sarees. Today, people can shop for a range of different kalamkari printed dresses like Kurtis, sarees or dupattas in beautiful patterns and colours. Kalamkari has proved to be a safe craft as it does not use harmful chemicals and rely on organic colours to create multi-coloured fabrics.

  • Famous Ancient Indian Traditional Art and Paintings

    India is a land of cultural diversity but we can always witness that all these differences only makes it more interesting. Ancient Indian folk art is a tradition in India and it has been practiced through various generations in many parts of the country. With time, art forms tend to adapted modern resources but there are still few unpretentious forms who have survived the test of time. Most of the Indian folk art forms illustrate religious stories about God and Goddesses, and yet they are different from each other. Traditionally natural colours, earth, charcoal and natural resources were used by artists to maintain the natural integrity of the art. Ancient antique paintings are portrayed on the cloth or canvas.  Below is the list of ancient Indian art forms appreciating their uniqueness and magnificence –

    Madhubani Art

    Madhubani art originated in Mithila region of Bihar in India, hence this art is also known as Mithila art. Madhubani art is found in the mural and geometric patterns describing religious folk stories, God, Goddesses, Indian flora, and fauna. In ancient times, this art was used by women to decorate their home walls. Madhubani can be painted using fingers, sticks, brushes, pointed pens and natural colors and dyes. This art is mostly used as a part of the ritual during Indian festivals and happy occasions like birth or marriage, Holi, Kali Puja, Durga Puja.

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    The Gond art form is said to evolve from Madhya Pradesh region in India. It is called Gond based on the name of ‘The Gondi tribe’ who is known as the inventor of Gond art. This type of art also focuses on the mysteries of nature, plants, animals. This is a very lively art form characterized by its upbeat colour schemes and vibrant looks. Natural colours are prepared from soil, charcoal and cow dung and are used to create this art form.

    Miniature Paintings

    Indian Miniatures paintings date back to 17th century and evolved in Western Himalayas. The art items are painted in small size with elaborate expressions and are inspired by Persian art style during Mughal era. The artists used to describe history and war. The main characteristics of a miniature painting are the enlarged eyes, sharp nose, and thin waist with men in turbans.

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    Phat Art

    Phat art is a traditional art of Rajasthan with paintings of folk deities of Pabujai and Devnarayan. The painting describes the incidents related to lives of these deities. It is painted on canvas and the paintings are generally large in size. Painters use natural colours and dye to create this magnificent art form.


    Kalamkari art is a Hindi translation for ‘creating art with pen’. A kalamkari is an ancient form of hand painting painted on cotton or silk cloth using natural colours and a special type of tamarind pen. This art is popular in Andhra Pradesh in machilipatnam and Srikalahasti. Machilipatnam artists create block paintings and Srikalahasti artists create designs on fabrics using pens. Natural resources are used for preparing colours such as fruits, vegetables, leaves and so on. Most common objects of Kalamkari art are flowers, birds, peacocks and Hindu mythological stories. In this day and age, this art has excelled as a popular art to create Kalamkari sarees.

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    Tanjore Painting

    Tanjore paintings are a famous art form of South Indian culture and are native to Thanjavur region of Tamil Nadu.  These paintings depict the stories related to God, Goddesses and holy saints of Hindu religion. Vibrant colours, precious stones, and ornaments are used to create these paintings. This art form is the blend of Maratha, Deccan and European panache and it originated in India somewhere in the 16th century.

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    Cheriyal Scrolls

    Cheriyal Scrolls painting is an ancient art form similar to Nakashi art. In current times, this art is only created in Telangana and Hyderabad states in India. These cheriyal scrolls paintings use local motifs and stories from Indian mythology. These scrolls are more than fifty feet long and painted in panels to narrate the stories from Puranas and Indian epics. Primary colours are used to create the scrolls.

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    Bhil is a folk art created by one of the main tribes in India known as ‘Bhils’. They live in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra region in India. Bhils are known as successors of Eklavya, the great archer from Mahabharata. Bhil paintings are mostly about nature and tribal lifestyle and are painted using bright natural colours.

    Kalighat Paintings

    Kalighat paintings are used by artists to raise their voice against social conditions and cause awareness. The art form is known to exist since the 19th century and was originated at Kalighat in West Bengal state in India. Initially, this art was focused to tell religious stories but in modern times it is used for social reforms.

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    Warli is another tribal art form from the Gujarat and Maharashtra regions. The Warli tribe used to paint the walls to decorate their homes. This painting uses geometric patterns to describe life in a modest way. The art is created on gerue (red soil) base with bamboo sticks. Rice paste is used to paint the various life events like festivals, dancing, etc.

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    Saura is a traditional tribal painting used by Saura tribe living in Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. These paintings describe the never-ending connection between nature and mankind. Saura paintings use natural colours made from neem leaves, herbs, and flowers. Saura art also uses geometric patterns like Warli however it is much bigger and extended form of painting.

  • Pithora Paintings: An ancient and sacred form of Wall Painting

    A painting holds a deep relevance in India and is always associated with traditions and history. Pithora paintings are more of a ritualistic form of wall painting made by tribes known as Rathwas and Bhilalas of central Gujarat region, 90 km from Vadodara, in a village called Tejgadh. These paintings draw essence and inspiration from the lives of these people. Pithora paintings are considered very auspicious as they are believed to bring peace, prosperity and happiness in home. Another interesting feature of these paintings is that it is not imitated or inspired from nature at all. Pithora paintings are usually seen on three inter walls of the houses in these places A horse or a bull is usually painted at the centre to signify God. The quality, although, of Pithora painting is crude, but it is this feature only that adds beauty to these paintings.

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    Pithora paintings find their roots in thousands of years old cave paintings of Gujarat. These paintings hold a deep social relevance and are the characteristic art tradition of Rathwa community. If you enter their houses you will find beautiful Pithora paintings always situated at the threshold, outside the first front wall or inside on the walls of the first room. The distinguishing feature of Pithora painting is a group of seven horses enclosed within a rectangular fence representing the seven hills that surround the geographical area. The wavy line depicts the river Narmada cuts in the painting. Three walls are selected for the painting, the front large central wall and the two on either side of it. The front or central wall (main wall) is very large, twice the size of each of the other selected sidewalls. These walls are first covered with two layers of cow dung paste and one layer of white chalk powder. Unmarried girls collect and bring these materials. This process is called as Leepna. The painters are called as lakhadas and do not belong to the family or house. The tribute and wish to be fulfilled is generally made to Baba Pithora (who is considered a deity there) before the start of painting. It takes days to prepare the final painting. The painting generally starts on Tuesday and ends by Wednesday. The two sidewalls are then painted with figures of minor deities and ancestors. The completion of the painting is celebrated with song, dance, feast and music. There are numerous different and wonderful designs and varieties of Pithora paintings with the smallest measuring one and a half feet and the largest 145 by 10 feet.

    Pithora painting has a variety of connotations and beliefs. Objects like farms, trees, fields, birds, sun and moon are depicted in their relative positions along with people and their ancestors. Even modern objects like railway tracks, aero planes, and computers also feature the paintings, thus making it a real depiction of the world of Rathwa tribe.

    Pithora painters even today have successfully managed to keep the essence and unique painting style still alive with changing environment.


    Cheriyal is quiet village nearly a 100 odd kilometres from Hyderabad in the Warangal district of Telangana. This village with approximately 2000 residents and 600 plus houses is nothing different from any other village in any other part of India, until you visit the 4 households that have kept the dying art of Cheriyal scrolls alive today.

    The Cheriyal scrolls were renowned across India and the world for their unlettered form of story-telling. In fact these scrolls find mention in A Catalogue of the British Museum.Today this traditional art form has become limited only the village of Cheriyal.

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    The canvas scrolls are made on Khadi and are hand painted with unique colours made from natural sources. There are a few characteristics that make the Cheriyal scrolls and paintings instantly recognizable such as the predominance of the colour Red in the background and the iconology of placing prominent figures in appropriate order. These scrolls are painted in a narrative format like comic strips or a film roll depicting scenes from Indian mythology like Krishna Leela, Ramayan, Mahabharatha among other folklore from the region.

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    Tradition has it that these scrolls were used for educating the unlettered villagers and kept the local populace entertained at that time. The village poet or artist would use these scrolls as visual aid to tell people of these stories. Today, with the advent of TV, internet and magazines these scrolls have become a dying art and is just confined to the Cheriyal village. The artists have been forced to adapt and nowadays they paint smaller versions of the scrolls, sometimes limited to just one panel to depict single episodes from the stories.

    Another craft from Cheriyal that has continued to linger and survive is the contemporary Cheriyal dolls. These dolls are made of wood, sawdust and tamarind paste while the masks are made from dried coconut shells.

    Today, the government is doing all things possible to keep this tradition alive and theseCheriyal scrolls are regularly showcased in government run handicraft stores. While the Cheriyal scroll painting received Intellectual Property Rights Protection or Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2007, the families involved in this art form are anything but rich and now rely on education to equip their children for a better future.

    One such family is the husband-wife duo of Vanaja and Ganesh. Both Vanaja and Ganesh are government recognized artists and have made murals for the visit of dignitaries including that of President Pranab Mukherjee’s to Nagpur. They also travel to various locations across the country conducting workshops on Cheriyal scrolls for various state governments and helping spread awareness about this dying art form. The couple run a Cheriyal painting workshop for teaching the basic techniques of scroll making to the neighbourhood children with which they hope they can revive this dying art.

    There are many such artists in Tamil Nadu too who are keeping their culture and art alive, read about them here at: http://www.tnartisaan.com/

  • Tanjore Paintings/Thanjavur Paintings

    India is home to several art forms and paintings. Each type can easily boasts of a large fan base and has their own rich legacy and story to share. Each painting genre has its own set of uniqueness, heritage and lay out. One art form that can easily be labelled as one of the oldest yet famous form of painting, especially in south India is the Tanjore Painting.

    Tanjore paintings can be traced to the town of Thanjavur in present day Tamil Nadu. Over time its popularity and adoption spilled across the adjoining and geographically contiguous Tamil state.

     Let us look at the rich legacy of one of India’s finest painting forms.

    Tanjore paintings can be traced back to early 17th century. This period was dominated by the Nayakas of Thanjavur under the patronage of the Vijayanagara Rayas. They encouraged art—chiefly, classical dance and music—as well as literature, both in Telugu and Tamil. Additionally, they also significantly promoted paintings of chiefly Hindu religious subjects in temples. However, it can safely be surmised that Thanjavur painting, as we know it now, originated in the Maratha court of Thanjavur (1676 - 1855). The Government of India has recognized this as a geographical indication in 2007-08.

    So what makes Tanjore Paintings so distinct and unique?

    Tanjore paintings are characterized by vivid, flat and rich colors. Furthermore, their simple iconic composition, glittering gold foils overlaid on delicate but extensive gesso work add wonders to the main content of the painting. One can definitely overlook the inlay of glass beads and pieces or very rarely precious and semi-precious gems!

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    Tanjore paintings clearly reflect the influence of paintings style, particularly of Deccani, Vijayanagar, Maratha and even European or Company styles of painting.

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    This form of paintings is dominated by the depiction of Hindu gods, goddesses, and saints. Several instances of Jain, Sikh, Muslim, and even secular subjects have had the honor of being depicted in the heritage-rich Tanjore paintings.

    Words would not do justice to describe the beauty of Tanjore paintings in mere 26 alphabets. Yet, if a fair attempt was to me made, Tanjore paintings undoubtedly can be described as a perfect reflection of the rich and age old culture of southern India. It is an amalgamation of south India’s legacy, presented on canvas by the imagination and ingenuity of its greatest practitioners and patrons.

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  • Famous Indian painters who got international credit

    India is a land of arts. This is the country that has given birth to fantastic artists for years, generation after generation. Many claim that all those things were past and historic. However, in present day also, there are different artists in India, who have established themselves in the International world of art. Here are the top five such Indian artists:

    M F Hussain

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    He is a famous painter in India, also known as ‘Indian Picasso’. He is the most celebrated and internationally renowned artists of all times. Renowned in India, this artist gave birth to lots of the exclusive art, some of which has got recognition in the international platform too. his paintings are mostly narrative, with diverse themes. 

    SH Raza

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    Renowned old painter of India, S Raza has made a record to earn 16 crore for a single painting. Some of the top paintingsof his are in the form of Saurastra and La Terre. Most of his paintings were on lightening Indian philosophy in the abstract form in oil or acrylic. His talent was not confined to the country alone. Soon it spread to a broader horizon, making him an internationally famous painter.

    F N Souza

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    The famous painter is recognized by the world for his extraordinary pieces of work. Nearly 400 paintings by him were sold in the world market, among which the famous Birth image is the brightest star. It was sold at 11 crores in International market. The painter created a different generation among all the painters, with his live works. The great painter died in the year of 2002.

    Tyeb Mehta

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    A Padma Bhushan recipient,Tyeb Mehta hailed from the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group, which included F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza and M.F. Husain. Like them, he also embraced the modern and brusque style of painting. Some of the top works of him includethe Diagonal Series and triptych Celebration. The latter one earned him 14 crore INR.

    Ganesh Pyne

    He is another artist of International fame. His works like Assassin or Before the Chariots are some of the landmark creations from this artist. Most of his works were based on the light and darkness of life, created keeping the riot phase in mind.

    VS Gaitonde

    Gaitonde is a renowned painter of India, famous in all parts of the world. Each of his work shows the control he has on his paint brush. He was an epitome of the meditative Zen quality and this is reflected in his paintings as well.In fact, some artists regard him to be the best in the modern context of art and painting in modern India.

  • SixSpectacular Paintings from Poompuhar

    Poompuhar offers an extensive and colorful collection of exquisite traditional Indian paintings.The fine detailing and intricacy in each painting reflects a generous effort of the craftsmen in projecting India’s history and culture in its best form.

    Jute Painting

    The course texture and husky aroma of Jute is what makes this painting distinct among other handicrafts. Especially trained craftsmen employ the technique of hand painting on canvas made up of Jute fabric andJute Paints. With a nice quote written on,the beautiful item can be used as a magazine and key holder in your home and office. Very reasonably priced,it also showcases the artistic qualitiesand determination of the artisan.

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    Meenakari Painting

    The spiritual and multi colored key stand presenting exquisite Meenakari art with Om painted on is a must have for your home. It is designed using white, light blue, dark blue, transparent green and red color and can be used for bringing positive energy in your house. Offered at a very reasonable price, don’t think twice for this eternal and unique piece of art from Poompuhar.

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    ThanjavurMirror Painting

    The captivating handmade circular mirror with intricate Thanjavur painting done around will surely decorate the empty wall of your room. The mirrors and red green stonework at the circumference make this painting look more appealing and worth buying. Do purchase if you have a taste of ancient Indian handmade stuff.

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    Thanjavur Lord Krishna Painting

    Characterised by glittering gold borders and vibrant colors, this portrait is breathtakingly brilliant. The traditional Thanjavur taste of art can be seen where Lord Krishna is portrayed floating over a peepal leaf on water after the destruction of the world. The fine use of gesso work and embellishment with semi-precious metal makes this painting look more charming and can be hung on your home wall for peace and tranquility.

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    Village ladies Painting

    Simple and elegant, this splendid painting displays many traditions of an Indian village where the ladies are highlighted against a dark hue. Decorate your drawing room or gift it to your loved ones, the distinguishing art piece is worth its price.

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    TajMahal Painting

    This is an ultimate painting featuring the iconic TajMahal. Outlined with a golden frame followed by a generous blue border and a shining moon star on top, the mesmerizing painting will definitely steal the heart of art lovers. The finesse and detailing done by our artisans at Poompuhar is deeply reflected. Buy this for your home decoration, the skill employed here will never let you regret its price.

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  • History behind Kalamkari Paintings

    Kalamkari is hand painted or block printed cotton textile. It has taken its name from “kalam” which means ‘pen’ and “kari” that means ‘work’. So, collectively, it means pen work. It is an ancient art that was originated about 3000 years ago and is still practiced, appreciated and loved by all. It is one of the best handicraft works still prevailing with the same zeal. The Kalamkari artists use bamboo stick which is pointed at one end that has a bundle of fine hair which is attached to this pointed end that works as the b rush.

    It has a rich history when painters and singers used to roam from one village to the other narrating Hindu Mythology to the people around. As time passed by, the source of storytelling took the form of art in the form of canvas paintings. The paintings also used to depict Hindu deities and their tales from the chapters of Mythology. The samples of Kalamkari art was also found at some of the Archeological sites of Mohenjo-Daro. The style got renowned when Mughals ascended the throne and they promoted this art in the Golconda and Coromandel province where many skilled artisans and painters used to practice this art. This all has led to the evolution of Kalamlari paintings.

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    The art of Making

    The making of the painting involves some steps that are crucial to get the finest painting made. The first step is to stiffen the cloth using astringent or anything else that does the same. The next step to be followed is to dye it under sun. Once it is done, the colorful portions of the fabric are outlined with a mordant. Then the artisans cover the cloth except the parts to be dyed blue in wax and immerse the cloth in Indigo dye. This way, the wax is strapped off and the remaining portions are painted by hand.

    To make the designs more precise and beautiful, the bamboo sticks are used when the pen is dipped in a mixture of the fermented jaggery and water and the painting is done.

    Masulipatnam Kalamkari

    It dates back to the Muslim rule in Golconda and was majorly influenced by Persians.

    Sri Kalahasti Style

    It was based on Hindu Mythology, the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata that uses images of Gods and deities. This way this style of painting has evolved.

    Karrupur Style

    It has got prominence from the famous Thanjavur region during the Maratha rule. The addition to this style that improves the décor is the gold brocade work it has.

    The styles are indistinct and beautiful that depicts rich cultural heritage of the country and keeps handicraft alive. The mythology is depicted through these paintings. There are many styles and forms to this that are available throughout. These paintings have a flourishing market in and outside India that leads us in leading exhibitions that showcase Indian culture.

  • Beautiful Thanjavur Paintings

    The history of the Thanjavur paintings was first inaugurated in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. The Beautiful paintings have a Classical South Indian style that has spread across Tamil Nadu and is known all around the globe. The paintings depict rich heritage, culture and art of the state and comprises mainly of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Tamil Nadu is known for the rich history in art and culture and so are these paintings. The traditional artists were so good at their work that they have made the culture, an art. They used natural colors like mineral dyes that made it more artistic. The paintings are often made on wood and the canvas made of cloth. Apart from that, they are also made on walls, glass, paper, mica, wooden panel and many more.

    Thanjavur Painting

    These paintings have vibrant distinct colors that make them look divine and beautiful. You can rather see many styles in the paintings like Deccan, Vijayanagar and even European. They talk about saints, stories, cultures, deities and many more and hence they are interactive. You feel connected to these painting because of the story they depict and the culture and true essence of History and art is also depicted.

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    They are used in the houses, offices, exhibitions and museums to display the divinity and elegance of art. Sometimes, the paintings also have three dimensional effects. They come in various sizes, may it be to cover an entire wall, or just a small miniature of painting. However, the antiqueness and the picturesque of these paintings are fund nowhere else and the traditional methods of the paintings are really the most influential and classic ones. They are often embellished with the small stones or simple drawings that add to their beauty and make them look more attractive.

    Thanjavur Painting Jula Radhakrishna

    Art speaks more than the spoken words and depicts what words cannot. Framing the best words may not be possible, but art is the best language in itself and Poompuhar Thanjavur paintings have their own uniqueness and words that brings history and culture back to life.

    Thanjavur Painting Aalilai Krishna

    Buy these Poompuhar Thanjuvar paintings for your houses, guest rooms, drawing rooms, offices and exhibitions to restore art and make your place look more decorative and elegant. After all, culture and traditions are not to be forgotten. Rather they bring peace and positivity in the environment. The culture we had, the lord we worship, the dynasties, the miniatures, all are available to add décor to the place.

    Make your place look more artistic and antique with these beautiful paintings and enjoy the true essence of divinity and vibrant colors. They are the best things to purchase for all the art lovers. These paintings have become the souvenirs for festivity in South India. These spectacular paintings are an inspiration that draws back from 1600 AD from Vijayanagar dynasty. They are not just appreciated by Indians, but have also found a place abroad in the galleries and museums. They are also adorned by the pieces of glasses and stones that again make them look irresistible.

  • Famous Painters of India

    India’s children have proved to be great ambassadors of its rich culture and heritage. Of the many great things that Indians are, there have been very famous painters who have mesmerized the world with their creativity and artistic talent. Creations of these famous painters have not only able to generate astronomical priced but also are the finest examples of human talent and capability.

    Famous painters of india (2)Raja Ravi Varma: Born in present day Kerala, Raja Ravi Verma was famous for his depictions of Hindu deities and episodes from the epics and Puranas, his work has received profound acceptance from the public and are found, often as objects of worship, across the length and breadth of India. Raja’s works are held to be among the best examples of the fusion of European techniques with a purely Indian sensibility. While continuing the tradition and aesthetics of Indian art, his paintings employed the latest European academic art techniques of the day. He also made affordable lithographs of his paintings available to the public, which greatly enhanced his reach and influence as a painter and public figure.

    M.F.Husain: MaqboolFida Husain, one of the most famous and flamboyant painters of India. He was known for his narrative paintings, executed in a modified Cubist style, which were caustic and funny as well as serious and sombre. His themes—sometimes treated in series—include topics as diverse as Mohandas K. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, the British raj, and motifs of Indian urban and rural life.  He was also the founding member of The Progressive Artists Group of Bombay (PAG).

    Anjolie Ela Menon: She is India's leading contemporary artists. Her paintings are in several major collections. She prefers oil on masonite, as her medium of painting though she has also worked in other media, including glass and water colour. Excelling as a muralist, she was awarded the honorary Padma Shree Award in 2000.

    Nandalal Bose: One of the pioneers of modern Indan art and a key figure of Contextual Modernism, was also the pupil of the famous Abanindranath Tagore. Bose was known for his "Indian style" of painting. He later went on to became the principal of the famous Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan in 1922. He was influenced by the Tagore family and the murals of Ajanta; his classic works include paintings of scenes from Indian mythologies, women, and village life.Today, many critics consider his paintings among India's most important modern paintings.

    Vasudeo S. Gaitonde: An alumni of the famous Sir J.J. School of Art, V.S. Gaitonde as he was more popularly known was one of the most famous faces of contemporary art. With a applaud worthy imagination, he was able to impress even his greatest of critics. In 2013, one of Gaitonde's untitled painting sold for ₹237 million (US$3.5 million), set a record for an Indian artist at Christie's debut auction in India.

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