Pre-Historic Paintings

  • They employed colors, including various shades of white, yellow, orange, red ochre, purple, brown, green, and black.
  • The paints used by these people were made by grinding various colored rocks.
  • They got red from hematite (Geru in India).
  • Green was prepared from a green-colored rock called Chalcedony.
  • White was from Limestone.
  • Some sticky substances such as animal fat or gum or resin from trees may have been used while mixing rock powder with water.
  • Brushes were made of plant fiber.
  • It is believed that these colors remained for thousands of years because of the chemical reaction of the oxide present on the surface of rocks.
  • Many rock art sites of the new painting are painted on top of an older painting. In Bhimbetka, we can see nearly 20 layers of paintings, one on top of another.
  • The use of many geometrical patterns is seen.
  • Scenes were mainly hunting and the economic and social life of people.
  • Karikiyoor rock art paintings are approx. 5,000 years old. It is situated in Kil Kotagiri village, Tamil Nadu, and has been defaced with religious symbols using whitener pens and political messages with chalk. Some couples have carved their names on the rocks, permanently disfiguring them.
  • Lakhudiyar Caves in Almora district of Uttarakhand. These caves have paintings of animals, humans, and tectiforms done with fingers in black, red, and white.
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Fig: Bhimbetka Painting

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