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What ancient Indian paintings tell us?

Art is immortal. it stands the test of time and will always have a story to say. This story- that the art vehemently tries to convey to us is the story of our ancestors, the story of who we are, what made us, and the story of our roots. This narration of our past will always live as long as civilization exists. 


A work of art’s symbolism, colors, and materials reveal the culture in which it was produced, as well as the life in the past. Through analyzing and examining the details in paintings from the past, we can experience time as it was during another period in history. In modern times, historians are learning a great deal about the cultures, values, and beliefs of cultures from the ancient world through the art that they have created. The main specialty of art is that it can be enjoyed by people of all kinds. Art was one of the few means of communicating during the time when few people were able to read and write and a way of preserving important events.


Indian paintings have their own way of retelling the past. India was a land of myriad mythology and histories, being ruled by various dynasties and kingdoms and being dominated by various cultures and influences. Thus the paintings of our nation have detailed stories to tell.  These paintings are testimonies of various communities, cultures, and people. They are decorated and embellished in various patterns, colors, and print. Each is , richly articulated in detail. Our paintings show us the way our ancestors lived, what meaning they saw in the stars and what life was to them. Their concept of love, death, nature can all be derived from observing their paintings.


It goes without saying that we are blessed with a culture filled with numerous paintings and art forms. And our ancestors have had many stories to tell us and they talk to us through the canvases that they filled with patterns and colors. But what do we have to contribute? What will we give back to the legacy that lies before us?

The lack of awareness and concern for our culture has resulted in a slow but steady deterioration of it. The main obstacle is the rising demand for machine-cut, mass-produced products and a lack of appreciation for traditional painting forms.

Craftsmen, artists, and designers are finding it difficult to continue with their endeavors due to the lack of support from society, and the next generation is reluctant to continue with their careers. A handcrafted product requires specialists and skilled labor, making it unique. On the other hand, machine-cut products need no such requirements and can be produced in bulk, making them widely available. This leads to fewer demands on handicrafts. In a world where everything is made available at our fingertips, readymade, cheap items have more importance than original paintings. In fact, many of us do not even know half the names of the paintings or painting forms in India. Thus it is only right that we understand the cultural heritage and preserve it in all forms. Our ancestor’s voice speaks to us through these painting forms and it is our duty to listen and open our hearts to the voice.

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