Art And Culture

UPSC IAS Prelims Examination: Miniature Painting l


Indian art and culture is a diverse and interesting topic. It covers cultural facet from ancient, medieval to modern periods. UPSC IAS Exam aspirants find this topic very difficult to study and to solve the questions from this segment.

The article will be very helpful for candidates who are aspiring to preparation for UPSC 2022.

Miniature Painting

  • Miniatures paintings are fine-looking handmade paintings. These paintings are quite colorful but small in size.
  • The best part of these paintings is the complex and delicate brushwork, which gives them a distinctive identity.
  • The colors used for miniatures are handmade. They are mainly obtained from pure gold, silver, minerals, vegetables, precious stones, indigo, and conch shells
  • The theme of the Miniature painting of India includes of the Ragas.
  • There were a number of miniature painting schools in the country, comprising those of the Deccan, Rajputs, and Mughals.

History of Miniature Painting in India

  • The advancement of Indian Miniatures paintings began in the Western Himalayas, about the 17th century.
  • These paintings were extremely influenced by the mural paintings which were derived during the later half of the 18th century.
  • During the time of the Mughals, the Hindu Rajas of Rajasthan, Muslim kings of the Deccan and Malwa supported the development of miniature painting.
  • The Mughals introduced Persian tradition in the Indian Miniature paintings.

Also, Read | Art and Culture Preparation Strategy for Prelims

Schools of Miniature Painting

The different schools of the Miniature paintings of India include:

  • Pala School
  • Orissa School
  • Jain School
  • Mughal School
  • Rajasthani School
  • Nepali School
  • The initial examples of the Indian Miniature painting are those connected to the Pala School.
  • Pala School highlighted on the representative use of color in the paintings, which was taken from tantric ritual.
  • The other characteristics of the Pala School include
    • The use of a skillful and graceful line
    • Modeling forms by delicate and expressive variation of pressure
    • Use of natural color for painting human skin
  • The Jain School of Miniature paintings placed great stress on style.
  • The exclusive feature of Jain school comprises the strong pure colors, enlarged eyes stylish figures of women, thick gold outlines, and square-shaped hands.
  • The impact of Jain miniature paintings can be seen on the Mughal paintings and Rajasthani paintings also.

Frequently Asked Questions about Miniature Paintings in India


Who introduced miniature paintings in India?

The earliest Miniature paintings in India can be traced back to the 7th century AD, when they flourished under the patronage of the Palas of Bengal.


What is miniature painting made on?

Miniature paintings are made on a very small scale especially for books or albums. These are executed on materials, such as paper and cloth. The Palas of Bengal are considered the pioneers of miniature painting in India, but the art form reached its zenith during the Mughal rule.

Some other relevant links for aspiring Civil Services candidates to prepare the Art and Culture for UPSC exam even better –


Pahari Paintings: Styles and Types – Found in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir Miniature Painting – Six Different Schools of Miniature Painting
Mughal Painting – an Elite Mixture of Indian, Persian and Islamic styles Tribal Paintings of India – Warli Painting, Gond Art, Madhubani art
Deccan School of Painting- Ahmednagar, Bijapur, Golconda, Hyderabad, Thanjavur Rajput Paintings – Different themes, Different Schools of Rajput Paintings
Gandhara and Mathura School of Art – Major Differences Mahabalipuram: An Architectural Extravaganza
NCERT Notes: Mauryan Empire: Art & Architecture Prehistoric Rock Paintings – Oldest Form of Artistic Expression
Indus Valley Civilization – Art & Culture Mauryan Art And Architecture
Sanchi Stupa – Know About Lion Capital Mural Painting Tradition – After Ajanta
Pallava Dynasty – Society and Culture Difference between Buddhism and Hinduism
NCERT Notes: Indian Bronze Sculptures Indo-Islamic Architecture – Important Details of Taj Mahal, Gol Gumbaz
Art, Literature, Architecture And Culture Notes For UPSC Difference Between Bhakti and Sufi Movements

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