Mysore painting

Mysore painting (Kannada: ) is an important form of classical South Indian painting that originated in the town of Mysore in Karnataka. Painting in Karnataka has a long and illustrious history, tracing its origins back to the Ajanta times (2nd century B.C. to 7th century A.D.) The distinct school of Mysore painting emerged from this legacy around the time of the reign of the Vijayanagar Kings 1336-1565 A.D. The rulers of Vijayanagar and their feudatories encouraged literature, art, architecture, religious and philosophical discussions and thus the Vijayanagar School of Painting of which both Mysore and Tanjore traditional painting are off-shoots, made a great historical contribution to the art of India. Mysore paintings are known for their elegance, muted colours, and attention to detail. The themes for most of these paintings are Hindu gods and goddesses and scenes from Hindu mythology. The fall of the Vijayanagar Empire in 1565 A.D resulted initially in distress for scores of families of painters who had been dependent on the patronage of the empire. However Raja Wodeyar I (1578Ė1617 A.D) provided a vital service to the cause of painting by rehabilitating several families of painters of the Vijayanagara School at Srirangapatna.[2] The successors of Raja Wodeyar continued to patronize the art of painting by commissioning the temples and palaces to be painted with mythological scenes. However none of these paintings have survived due to Hyder Ali and Tippu Sultanís ascendance to power and the consequent ravages of war between them and the British. After the death of Tippu Sultan in 1799 AD the state

was restored to its original royal family of Mysore and itís ruler Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar III (1799-1868 A.D.) ushered in a new era by reviving the ancient traditions of Mysore and extending patronage to music, sculpture, painting,dancing and literature. Most of the traditional paintings of the Mysore School, which have survived until today, belong to this reign. On the walls of Jagan Mohan Palace, Mysore (Karnataka), the fascinating range of paintings which flourished under Krishnaraja Wodeyar can be seen; from portraits of the Mysore rulers, their family members and important personages in Indian history, through self-portraits of the artists themselves which Krishnaraja Wodeyar coaxed them to paint, to murals depicting the Hindu pantheon and Puranic and mythological scenes. The most famous of such manuscripts is the Sritattvanidhi, a voluminous work of 1500 pages prepared under the patronage of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar. This pictorial digest is a compendium of illustrations of gods, goddesses and mythological figures with instructions to painters on an incredible range of topics concerning composition placement, colour choice and mood. The ragas, seasons, eco-happenings, animals, and plant world are also effectively depicted in these paintings as co-themes or contexts.[4] Other Sanskrit literary sources such as the Visnudharmottara Purana, Abhilasitarthacintamani and Sivatatvaratnakara also throw light on the objectives and principles of painting, methods of preparing pigments, brushes and the carrier, qualifications of the citrakar (painter) the principles of painting and the technique to be followed.