Pahari Painting

Pahari region comprises of Himachal Pradesh, adjoining areas of Punjab, Jammu & Garhwal in Uttar Pradesh. Important centres of painting were Basholi, Guler, Kangra and Kulu-Mandi in 17th and 18th century.

Basholi School of Painting

  • Earliest centre of painting in Pahari region was Basohli. Under the patronage of Raja Kripal Pal, an artist named Devidasa executed miniatures in form of Rasamanjari illustrations in 1694 AD. The last phase of Basohli style was closely followed by the Jammu group of paintings, mainly consisting of portraits of Raja Balwant Singh of Jasrota (a small place near Jammu) by Nainsukh, an artist who originally belonged to Guler but had settled at Jasrota.
image 384

Fig: Rasamanjari, Basohli

Guler School of Painting

  • Several portraits of Raja Goverdhan Chand of Guler were executed in 1750 AD in a style having close affinity with the portraits of Balwant Singh of Jasrota.
image 385

Fig: Balwant Singh in prayer, Nainsukh

Kangra School of Painting

  • This style represents third phase of Pahari painting in the last quarter of 18th century. The Kangra style developed out of the Guler style.
  • Paintings of the Kangra style are attributed to the Nainsukh family. Some of the Pahari painters found patronage in the Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh and the Sikh nobility in the beginning of the 19th century and executed portraits and other miniatures in a modified version of Kangra style which continued till the middle of the 19th century.
image 386

Fig: Kaliya Mardana, Bhagvata Purana, Kangra

Kulu-Mandi School of Painting

  • A folk style of painting inspired by local tradition.
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