Get to Know Rajasthan Artists

The princely state of Rajasthan is well known for its rich art and culture. Each region in the state has got a unique differentiator to speak about and showcase to the world. Indeed, most interesting forms of art & craft, spanning across painting, pottery, handicrafts, etc. have been originated from here only.

Get acquainted with some famous names hailing from Rajasthan. This includes:

Kripal Singh Shekhawat

Kripal Singh Shekhawat has earned a name for himself in pottery and is famously known as the father of blue pottery and ceramist of India. His creations carry bold innovations in a delicate and refined way and tremendous contributions in bringing a renaissance in the field of pottery bagged him the most prestigious title ‘Shilp Guru’ by the Government of India in 2002. He is also recognized for the organic evolution of traditional paintings.

Badri Lal Chitrakar

Coming from a small town Bhilwara in Rajasthan, Badri Lal Chitrakar is a renowned Indian miniature art artist. The art is primarily known for its exquisite brushwork and is often touted to be one of the best antique pieces. He was awarded with the title of Master craftsperson of the Year in 1987 and ‘Shilp Guru’ in 2006 for his excellence and expertise.

Usha Rani Hooja

Usha Rani Hooja was a well-known sculptor. Her creations are not only installed in India but have also garnered appreciation overseas. Most of her most notable sculptures, known for being larger than life, are installed at Delhi, Kota, Bhilwara, Bombay, Jaipur, Jodhpur in India and Sweden, Washington and Phillipines abroad. Her successive works brought her recognition and huge appreciation from the artistic community.

Shree Lal Joshi

Shree Lal Joshi is known for his immense skills at phad painting (also known as Mewar style of painting). Phad painting has gained popularity as a folk painting of Rajasthan and conveys a heroic story of kings and rulers, narrated through songs and dance. He is a Padma Shri Award winner. He also has an excellence in wall paintings which got him a wide recognition and the prestigious National Award for his work at Crafts Museum, New Delhi. He does wall painting in ancient fresco style.

Rajasthan is a land of talent bringing name and fame to the country and making it big on international podium too.

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Phad Paintings: Mewar Style of Paintings

Phad painting is the most ancient style of painting in Rajasthan. Also known as Mewar style of painting, it has always been a part of an elaborate ritualistic song and dance performance by folk balladeers. The term ‘Phad’ is coined from a Sanskrit word ‘patt’ which means ‘a cloth’ in English.

The painting is drawn on a piece of cloth with vegetable colors and is used as the backdrop to narrate the story associated with the song or dance performed. Songs are usually based on lives of local heroes and their stories and legends of erstwhile local rulers.

Phad painting can either be drawn on a large or a smaller piece of cloth. Its smaller version is called as ‘Phadakye’.

How is Phad Painting Drawn

The very first step begins with drawing the bold outlines in block. Next, these blocks are filled with bright and subtle vegetable colors. The figures are given a two-dimensional treatment, and the entire composition is organized in sections. The sketches are drawn using a single stroke of the pen.

Features of Phad Paintings

All Phad paintings share common features, such as flat construction of the pictorial space, characters facing each other, and no space left out without figures. Even after filling up the canvas completely, the painting has a harmonious distribution of the figures and does not look cluttered. It rather attracts the viewer towards it.

Another unique feature of Phad painting is the representation of the character. The size of the figure is calculated and drawn depending on its social status and importance shown in the story.

An upcoming stream of Phad painters is attempting to draw a collage form combined with modern art, without spoiling the actual aesthetics and basic principles of the art form.

Famous Artists for Phad Paintings

Most famous works include the Phad paintings by Gogaji, Prithviraj Chauhan, and Amar Singh Rathore.

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Spellbinding Work of Lacquer & Filigree in Various Forms

Lacquer and Filigree Work is counted among the most captivating art works in the entire state of Rajasthan. This special art work of Rajasthan can be found in the form of Lac jewelry and bangles, which is very much admired across the country. Filigree is a very fine-grained jewelry work that involves metal work usually done on gold or silver. Rajasthan is famous for the filigree work done on silver base of jewelry. In this type of work, craftsman requires a lot of patience to deliver fine jewelry pieces with accuracy. Filigree work is also exported to various countries across the globe and holds high value especially in Europe and Middle East

The craftsmen of Rajasthan possess exceptional skills in engraving art and embellishing gold and silver. The filigree silver cut work is particularly reckoned for its unique designs and ultimate style. The artists of Jaipur region are well known for the art of meal engravings. Lacquered and engraving along with filigree work can be featured in various forms such as boxes, hanging lamps, picture frames, lamp stands, plates, etc. The use of lac and semi-precious stones also enhances the beauty of filigree work and mesmerizes its onlookers.

Lacquered and filigree work is highly appreciated in the form of jewelry items and jewelry lovers prefer them for their admiring collection. There are numerous workshops in Jaipur and Jodhpur that specialize in this kind of art. Such jewelry pieces are exported to various parts of the world and are appreciated by everyone. Such jewelry items are also available for men as well as women and offer an elegant touch to their attire

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Tarkashi: Famous Rajasthani Artifact Best Suited for Gifts

Rajasthan is reckoned as a state of amazing talented craftsmen who have brought forward some truly beautiful and captivating art pieces. There are numerous things to count like blue pottery, ivory carvings, miniature paintings and so on. Tarkashi is another highly appreciated artifact of the state, which is best suited for gift purpose as well as for personal use. It is a common sight in the antique and gift shops of Jaipur available in the form of boxes, tables and trays with brass or copper engrave work. This specific type of art work is defined as tarkashi.

It utilizes gleaming metal wires or tar set in the wood to craft some intricate geometric patterns or floral designs inspired from Mughals. A plain, dark colored sheesham wood is used due to its high oil content that allows inlaid metal to be gripped securely. For this, the metal comes in various dimensions and is used for varied purposes. For instance, the thickest metal wire is being used for strong outlines or figures and the finest are utilized for minute details such as hair. With just a lick of polish and varnish, the object is all set for sale in the market.

Jaipur is one of the regions, where tarkashi crafts can extensively be found. Craftsmen ensure to craft the object or box in a very precise manner to make it excellent. Such crafts and artifacts are the best to be cherished for long with your loved ones.

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Block Printing and its Various forms in Rajasthan

As per the records, history of Block Printing goes back to the 12th century. Several centers in the south, western and eastern coasts of India became prominent for their admirable printed cotton. In the medieval times, printing and dyeing of cotton had gained special attention and developed in the state of Rajasthan. The state has a very long and distinguished tradition of printing with finely carved wooden blocks of varied patterns and unique designs.

This specific method is considered to be the laborious one to apply, but, is actually quite simple and fun to do. In this process, cotton cloth is laid out flat on a surface and a block of wood freshly dipped in a color of craftsmen choice is hand-pressed on to the fabric. This will form a continuous and interlocking pattern on the cloth. Block printed cloth is another craft item, which is held high in value and the best gift to be cherished with your loved ones.

You can find several colorful prints of birds, animals, human figures, gods and goddesses that are popular and extensively used for diverse craft purposes. The important centers of block printing are Jaipur, Pali, Bangru, Sanganer and Barmer.

Sanganer is well known for its Calico printed bed sheets, quilts and beautiful sarees. In this form of painting, the outlines of the patterns are printed very first repeatedly in diagonal rows, and then the color is filled in as per the specifications. You will stay amazed with its bold patterns and colors that are very much popular as well. Doo Rookhi Printing is another famous form of block printing in this region. In this technique, indian artist prints on both the sides of the cloth

Bagru is renowned for its Syahi-Begar prints and Dabu prints. These are former designs in a combination of black and yellow ochre or cream. The latter are prints in which portions are hidden from the dye by applying a resist paste. Barmer is known for its prints of red chilies with blue-black outlines, surrounded by flower-laden trees.

With the endeavors of the state government, these crafts or artifacts have survived with the setting up of the All India Handicrafts Board at New Delhi and the Rajasthan Small Scale Industries Corporation at Jaipur region. Here, almost every craft is well practiced and promoted in Rajasthan with its high held value due to nurtured traditions, which are reflected through them

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Frescoes- A Technique of Mural Painting on Moist Plaster

The state of Rajasthan has a long history of Rajputs and their patronage including land acquisitions, battles, few sprawling palaces and rich mansions reflecting the true beauty of their unique and colorful culture. An onlooker would describe the state as a carved marble dream. The parched desert topography with colorful life stays in perfect harmony. Each region or city of Rajasthan has some specialization to offer either in the form of bangles or miniature paintings and so on. Pushkar region is well reckoned for its camel fairs and Jaipur for its exquisite palaces. Chittorgarh is renowned for its forts expressing its ancient history and again Shekhawati region is famous for its exquisite Frescoes.

Rajasthani Art is highly appreciated by everyone across the globe and held in high esteem. Whether it is ivory carvings, miniature paintings or the frescoes, it enlightens you about the high level of artistic sense that the craftsmen of the state had mastered in. The art of Frescoes is rampant in the Rajasthan state and has been there from a very long time.There are grand palaces or havelis that are standing with their head held high in the region of Shekhawati. These marvelously painted monuments showcase the most intricate patterns of frescoes interiors, pillars, rooms and halls. For diverse shades and vibrant color combinations, the rajasthani craftsmen utilized vegetable dyes. Floral motifs and arabesque poses are considered to be the usual themes for such type of indian art style.

Lively colors are the best and the appealing characteristics of these Frescoes. Nawalgarh is another region situated close to the Shekhawati area, which is also famous for its numerous painted havelis. Anandilal Poddar Haveli was constructed in the year 1920 and has a remarkable collection of Fresco paintings. This unique collection of paintings has been well preserved and maintained in several museums of Rajasthan state. The state government upholds the culture and tradition of Rajasthan in the form of diverse art, craft, paintings and other handiworks of the state.

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Raagmala Paintings in Rajasthan

Rajasthan, also defined as the land of noble Rajputs, mesmerizes you with its several palaces, forts, museums and temples. Whether it is marble carvings, frescoes or miniature paintings and likewise artifacts, it describes the ultimate level of artistic skills and talent, that these craftsmen possess. The list of Rajasthani Artifacts is endless and the Rajasthani paintings are one of the most preferred choices for the tourists or bystanders.

You might have heard about the Raagmala paintings that are considered to be high in esteem throughout the country. This type of painting creates a visual effect in the minds of the viewers. These art works depict the concept of six different ragas found in Indian classical music. Such paintings usually convey the mood during the different parts of the day and different seasons.

Sangeeta Ratnakara, is a significant 12th century CE treatise on the classification of Indian Ragas, which for the first time explains the presiding deity of each raga. After 14th century, these raagas were described in short stanza in Sanskrit, for Dhyana or meditation. Later, these were represented in a series of paintings, also known as the Raagmala paintings.

This specific indian art style was developed at the start of 16th and 17th centuries. Such painting captivates you with its narrative as well as bright visual effects. Powerful strokes and raw energy of the artists are perfectly splashed on the canvas in perfect harmony. Raagmala miniature paintings have been properly preserved with care and maintained in the museums of Rajasthan.

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Pottery in Rajasthan

Rajasthani Pottery is another famous art work, which is manufactured in Rajasthan and attracts most of the viewers. Pottery items of Rajasthan can be used for both decorative purpose as well as in daily use (like gharas and surahis). Each type of such item is made all over the state and can be availed in certain areas. Jaipur is a city known for its majestic blue-glazed pottery that was introduced in India by some early Muslim rulers.

The blue Pottery was used to liven up the visual appeal of mosques, tombs and palaces in the state during early times. This perfect style of pottery is in extensive use in the form of tiles that enhances the beauty of buildings and ancient forts. Such ultimate tiles of blue pottery can be seen in the old city of Jaipur. The village of Molela, is another hotspot, which is 40km away in north of Udaipur. The village surpasses in terracotta pottery, sculpted plaques and idol of Rajput heroes and Hindu deities.

One can find a wide array of terracotta articles that are prepared in Rajasthan including paper-thin pottery, white and red clay articles, painted pottery and terracotta wall plaques. Not only this, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Alwar and Bikaner like cities are the main centers in Rajasthan for Pottery products or likewise artifacts. Apart from this, black pottery is better sourced in South India and making its mark up north in the district of Dausa, west of Jaipur. This one is known for its minimalist and sleek forms that are cherished for long and can be used for either mundane tasks or just for the decorative purpose.

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Ivory Carving in Rajasthan

Rajasthan is counted among the richest states of India, which boasts of dazzling art and craft items. Be it lac, stone, leather work or Ivory Carving, Rajasthan always has the best of best to offer as a souvenir. Ivory Carving is the most delicate craft style that has flourished under the regal patronage in few capitals of Rajasthan including Udaipur, Jaipur, Bharatpur and Jodhpur. One can find numerous samples of this kind of art style in the form of delicate ivory figures of gods and goddesses that are minutely carved and perfectly portioned. On top of all, jali-work of lace like obscurity is the testimony to the ivory carvers.

Ivory carving is not new for India; it has been around for more than 4000 years. Ivory Carving was popular even in the era of princely states and mostly used for artistic and visual appearance that captivates onlookers for long. The texture of ivory is very smooth and whatever designs the artist desires to create can be easily carved on ivory. Ivory items are carved from elephant tusks and the raw material is pretty soft and light weighted. There are numerous of ivory items including animal figures, birds, fish trays and so on that are often used as decorative items.

Apart from attractive decorative craft items, ivory bangles are another prominent object of use. The ivory bangles are beautified with simple color patterns or with glass beads and are recommended to be worn on special occasions like marriage.

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Handicrafts of Rajasthan

Rajasthan is well reckoned as a Pink City due to its ultimate range of handicrafts that are highly appreciated in all the markets across the world. It is known to be colorful, lively and spirited state of highly talented people. Every city of the state has its unique selling points, which cannot be overlooked. Be it any city like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Pushkar, Shekhawati and any other city you name, some interesting factor will be there by default to consider. Amongst the other popular things and facts, the handicrafts market of Rajasthan is the most important and biggest market of the entire country.

Tourists visiting India prefer to pay a special visit to this state and always desire to take back some souvenirs in the form of Rajasthani handicrafts. These bright colored and patterned crafts are used to embellish house decor. Apart from this, there are a variety of exclusive Rajasthani handicraft and handlooms including Jewelry of kundan and meenakari, Textile products, Precious and Semi-Precious gemstones, paintings of diverse art forms, Leather and marble handicrafts and much more. Rajasthani handicrafts renders a plethora of ultimate products.

For example, there is a wide array of Rajasthani textiles that are prepared using tie and die technique. With this, craftsmen create very beautiful dress materials like suit pieces, kurtis, lehenga sarees and so on.

In famous Rajasthani Jewelry items, meenakari is one of the eye-catching and most popular forms, which are enameled with gold and silver. Moreover, handmade jewelry pieces are also unique and appreciated by everyone.

Carpets & Durries are another alluring range for your collection. The woolen carpets of Bikaner, Jaipur and Tonk hold a special place in craft collection. Most of these carpets are handmade and knotted into stunning designs that captivates your senses.

Blue Pottery is another craft form of Rajasthan, which is very much popular for its superb work. There are several craftsmen in Jaipur city who prepare blue pottery in Rajasthan by using white, blue and green.

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