Art in India is represent a very broad cultural category. Since the dawn of time India has been home to some of the great artists. Throughout history, through the forms of art changed the consistency with which art –in its many manifestation –was produced in India remained the same. India’s artistic tradition follows much of the general cultural ethos of the country: synthesize and invent.

Painting by Raja Ravi Verma
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Contemporary Painting in India: The politics of 19th century destroyed Indian art, which had bloomed under the patronage of feudal kings and the Mughal emperors. Raja Ravi Verma was the first to revive Indian art. Under the patronage of the royal family of Tranvancore he learnt oil painting under the alien artists. He used his skill to first paint gods and goddesses made famous by the Ravi-Uday Litho Press.

  • Raja Ravi Varma: This 19th century artist was born on 29th April 1848 in Kilimanoor, Kerala. His amazing paintings mainly revolve around the great epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. He is largely celebrated for such paintings. He is credited for fusing Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art.


Jaganath Ahivasi was another stalwart of Indian painting in its early days. Pre-Independence the art scence in was relatively unheard of. Yet, those who had been to Europe were bring with them art forms like impressionism, cubism, and expressionism back to India. It was mainly in the urban centers of that the seeds of contemporary art were sown, especially Mumbai and Delhi.  Artists like H.A Gade, Padamee, Palsikar, S.H.Raza, F.N. Souza, Bhavesh Sanyal, K.C Panikar, and Devi Prasad Roy are some of those who were creatively active.

Slowly but surely Indian painting started to brush a space for  itself in the Indian cultural ethos. This was marked by the revival of art in Bengal, and Bombay through the establishment of schools like the Bombay School of Art, and the Kolkatta School of Fine Arts. Artists like Jamini Kurar, Abanindranath Tagore, Amrita Sher-Gill, and Nanalal Bose were the more pioneers in Bengal. In Bombay , in 1948 several artist got together to form the Progressive Artists Group in 1948. This group dedicated itself to part ways with traditional painting styles and mediums.

Rangoli: A form of street/folk art practiced during festivals. Rangoli comprises of making designs or patterns on the walls or the floor of the house using different colors. Impressive designs are put together using fine powered colors. Rangoli has both religious and cultural importance. Perhaps the most impressive of Rangolis are made.

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Today, artists in India have shed any inhibition holding them back. There is noone school of art that can be defined as Indian painting style, artists have a number of influences both from winthin and without the country.

For a very comprehensible and comprehensive look into Indian Art History please visit this website by Art History resources:

There are numerous Art Gallaries in India. All major cities on India are centres for education in fine arts, espeically Kolkatta, Mumbai, and Delhi. To see the list of the best art gallaries in Mumbai please click here:

In Delhi, the Delhi Art Gallery has a number of exhibition of Indian as well as International artist throughout the year. For more details please visit theirwebsite:

Tribal and Folk Art: Indian is home to some of the most ancient visual arts. Rocks and Mounds in the regions surronding Mirzapur, Bhimbetka and Hoshangabad showcase such art. The many tribal groups in India have their own style. Like Babo Pithora of the Rathwa tribe, popular in the region of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Pithora paintings depeict marriage of Pithora and Pithori in accordance to the local folklore.  Another example of the beauty of tribal painting are the Warli painting where the painiting is done with only two primary colors: white on brown.

Cave painting of India: Cave Painting in India date to pre-historic times. Murals in Ajanta, Ellora, and Bagh and Sittanavasal being but two of the more well known examples.
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This site presents an incredible look into the art culture of India

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