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Rajput Portraits of the Indigenous School

Title:Rajput Portraits of the Indigenous School
Author:Gangoly, O.C.
Enumeration:Vol. 7 Issue no. 4; September 1954, p. 12-21
Abstract:Contary to the popular belief that portrait painting was first introduced into India by the Persian masters attached to the Mughal court, there is evidence that portraiture was practiced in ancient and medieval India in Buddhist, Gupta, Rashtrakuta, and later times. Jaina illustrated manuscripts, too, establish a long-standing indigenous tradition of portrait painting. Although the indigenous and Mughal school influenced each other and got entangled, there are some fundamental differences between the two. The few surviving specimens -- as late as the 18th and 19th centuries -- in the pure Rajasthani idiom seem to prove that the idiom was practised side by side with a mixed Mughal-Rajput style. The Rajasthan style was linked to, and derived from, Gujarati paintings of the 12th-15th centuries. The Rajasthani qalam portraits have been illustrated in various publications. The stylistic peculiarities of a recently discovered group of Rajasthani portraits show that they are distinct from familiar Mughal conventions. This indigenous style of portrait painting in Rajasthan was carried to the hill states of the Punjab, and continued in the Sikh school.

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