Mysore Painting- An innovative Folk art of Karnataka

(credits- Bangalore Click In)

Art has remained a unifying factor for the country till now. It remained largely insulated from the adverse effects of these conflicts. Rather, it was further enriched by the external influences. This also led to infusion of new ideas. It has given India reasons to rejoice on the rich display of its cultural diversity through exquisite art-works. Mysore painting is one such classical art form of South India. It has been classified as one of the most classical and authentic art forms of India.

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Mysore painting- An introduction

India is a place of cultural diversity. However, language, colour, creed and norms vary from state to state. The ethnic, cultural and demographic diversities are due to the large displacement of the people. The displacement that took place due to wars, continuous conflicts, invasions, religious movements, migrations etc. This has taken place during the entire course of the Indian history. The innovation in paintings has however never stopped. The art forms got richer.

Mysore painting was encouraged by Mysore rulers who were ardent lovers of art. Karnataka has a rich history of encouraging various art forms. They still continue to be one of the most popular art and craft lovers of India. Painting in Mysore kingdom has a history dating back to 2000 BC. Wars and feuds have led to fall of kingdoms in the past in Mysore leading to mass resettlements. The Art has remained unaffected. On the contrary, new rulers and artists added to the diversity and richness of mysore painting.

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Indian government is trying to revive the lost heritage in the form of painting on temple walls and buildings. Other type of paintings are also being revived which got ravaged during the colonial era. A few of these art-works have been recovered by excavation but a lot of the art has withered with time. The beauty is that the art has however not disappeared. Generations of artists have made sure that Mysore painting keeps abreast with contemporary form of art while retaining their classical format.

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According to historians, The fall of the Vijayanagar Empire in 1565 AD led to the downfall of this form of art. The sack of Hampi in the Battle of Talikota resulted initially in distress for scores of families of painters. These families of painters had been dependent on the patronage of the empire. However Raja Wodeyar provided important service to the cause of painting. He rehabilitated several families of painters of the Vijayanagara School.

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It is believed that the ancient painters in Mysore prepared their own materials and the colours. These were extracted from natural sources like plants, vegetables, minerals, gold, silver, stones and flowers. Brushes were made with squirrel hairs and grass. Even today the Mysore paints retain their freshness owing to the use of natural colours.

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(Credits- Sivatravelogue)

Mysore painting- The future is bright

Mysore painting portrays the illustrious history of India while passing through its evolution stages. Innovations by artists together with support from the authorities have helped it retain the freshness. Artists are known for innovation. Mysore painting is also known for nurturing artists. These families restart from where the ancestors leave this art. The process thus helps the art to flourish and ensure value addition from generation to generation. This folk art is rich in innovation and has always received a thumbs up by artists around the globe for its class and intricacies. The future is bright as is depicted by the painting below (courtesy- Design Resources).

Mysore Painting- An innovative Folk art of Karnataka- Design resource


  1. SUBBARAO GOWRNENI March 30, 2015
  2. ravi January 29, 2017
  3. Satbeer singh September 10, 2017

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