Indian miniature painting
Miniature painting was originally an ancient type of painting spread along the Mediterranean coast. Later, with the movement of the population, it entered India via Persia. It was first used in Buddhist and Jain manuscripts as scriptures and teaching illustrations, and then gradually integrated into Indian epics. , style, the sense of religion is getting weaker and the secular charm is gradually emerging, and it begins to express the theme of court life and portraits, folk stories, gods and monsters, flowers and animals, full of poetic human nature and romantic emotions.
Finely painted on jute paper or silkworm cocoon paper with a small area, the paper pages are polished and smoothed with agate in advance. When painting, the artwork is first sketched with ink lines, and the fine lines are completed to show the slightest hair of the object; then, the watercolor is flatly painted according to the line draft, the shades are scattered, and the layers are rendered, so that the color is warm and bright, as smooth as enamel. In terms of imagery, the figures with the side faces and the main purpose are all expressed in an ancient and naive way, and their origins can be traced back to the residual paintings in the tomb ruins of ancient Egypt and ancient Greece; the branches and leaves of the trees are arranged in an orderly manner, the perspectives are consistent, and the monotonous objects are rich and rich in layers. When you get up, it is lush and lush; the buildings are arranged in rows, like a dream, between the mountains and rivers. All the gorgeous objects and musical rhythms are unified in the fine and rigorous single-line flat painting, which is very decorative, just like the gorgeous ornaments on the brocade, laid out in the cold and dark background, revealing a faint brilliance, radiating the joy of the floating world. Pleasure and tranquility, intoxicating and addictive.
Among the many Indian miniature paintings, the most important is the work “Love Boat”.
”Love Boat” (picture 1) was created in the middle of the 18th century when the Mughal dynasty was in decline, and was painted by the famous painter Nihal Jant in the Rajaput region of India. Its layered representation of objects seems to be telling a long-standing love story. At the bottom of the picture, the shepherd boy Krishna, the main god Vishnu incarnates as the black god, and the beautiful milkmaid Radha meet under the red sandalwood tree in the garden. , among the lotus leaves of the blue waves, the couple and their servants rowed their boats and went to the place of love – the palaces built of red sandstone and white marble by the water; The gods are gathering, and the sun shining like a golden arrow on the back of the mountain is breaking through the darkness.
”Love Boat” is in keeping with India’s most bewildering and seductive qualities, which is its glamour at both ends of maturity and innocence. Its insight into human nature and spiritual rhythm shows its maturity, and its naive and primitive performance techniques reveal its innocence and loveliness.
Among the Indian miniatures, there is a particular type of work known as raga miniatures. “Raga” is known as the soul of Indian classical music. It is a melody framework with its own unique scales, intervals and melody fragments, which are enriched and perfected by the musician’s improvisation.
1. “Megha” Rag Miniature
This is a work of the Rajput school of India, about 1725. MiG means cloud in Sanskrit. According to one legend, a dancing girl who sang this raga called rain and saved the crops from the drought. Another legend is of a maiden who passed by Akbar the Great’s burning court and sang “Mig” rag until a downpour fell from the sky and put out the fire. It is said that this raga comes from the fifth head of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction, looking up to the sky. In the book “Sanjit Dapana”, he wrote: “He was covered in radiance like green lotus leaves, his face was as beautiful as the moon, and he was dressed in yellow clothes. Because of the drought, he prayed to heaven, and he sat in the clouds. Smiling sweetly, among the warriors, the young ‘Mig’ Rag shines.” The image depicted here is actually the Indian god of thunder and rain, Indra, but it later became associated with Hinduism The legend of Krishna, the incarnation of the protector of god Vishnu, has been associated with it. This miniature painting is based on this. The center of the picture depicts Krishna dancing with a girl, with a veena (a famous ancient plucked instrument in India) hanging on him, and another girl beside him. Drums to imitate the rumble of thunder. The background on the picture has trees, flowers, and dark clouds and lightning in the sky. The basic tones of the picture are light green and dark green.
2. “Radha and Krishna Watching Fire” Rag Miniature
”Radha and Krishna Watching Fire” (picture 2) has more features of Persian painting: the picture is divided into several layers, breaking through the concept of time and space, and rubbing things from different regions and times into one picture. Taking Krishna and Radha as the main line, different scenes unfold. A couple in the boudoir is shown with an open window: Krishna is holding her arms in a panic, and Krishna points to the fire outside the window. On the left is the house slave who is climbing the stairs to put out the fire. The window of a building is blazing with flames. Because of the disturbance, even the pigs in the yard have rushed out of the stable. In the lower right corner is a scene of life in a courtyard, where slaves filed in to send tribute to the palace. The tribute was lifted high, and the payer showed a serious expression.
The legend of Krishna’s love is a common theme in Indian folk art. Its story is familiar to even Indian children. According to legend, Krishna’s life was spent in happy fields and play. He works in the countryside and likes to play the flute. His flute excited the girls and boys in the field, which led to many pastoral love stories.
3. “ASVARI” Rag Miniature
This is a work from the 16th century. The original meaning of As is snake, and the origin of this rag may be related to snakes and snake charmers. In the book “Sanjit Dapana” it is written: “She sat among the sandalwood groves on the top of the mountain, and she made her clothes out of peacock feathers, wearing pearls spit out by elephants, a The snake that came down from the sandalwood tree was worn by her as a bracelet.” However, in the picture of “Asvali”, it is a young girl sitting on a rock, and a huge sandalwood tree shelters her from the morning sun. She was teasing the snake, her eyes were sad, and her mind was heavy (she climbed to the top of the mountain to hope that her lover would return soon), but she still showed a serene and shy charm in her. In an unfortunate moment, all the snakes left their sandalwood trees and rolled around in a ball to show their sympathy for the girl. The melody of “Asvali” is sad, with a lovelorn mood, and the performance time is early morning.
4. “Hindola” Rag Miniatures
Hindur (picture 3) shows the love story between a shepherd boy and a milkmaid. The original intention of Hindur was to play swings. In the book “Sanjit Dapana”, he wrote: “He enjoyed himself on the swing, the girls slowly swayed their beautiful hips, the small and delicate flock of pigeons fascinated people, and the prophets praised Hindur. Rag!” in another book: “The hero was bent on the swing and swayed towards the ground, pretending to play, but a little dazed, his two girlfriends ran to save him, because of encouragement, Consolation, his heart is at ease, and he smiled.” The scene depicted in the book is similar to the picture, and it is also a beautiful man swinging on a swing, with two girls who love him taking care of him, lest he accidentally fall down. In some scenes, he was also shown holding a musical instrument in his hand. Or a man and a woman swing on a swing together. This raga expresses joyful, lively emotions and is performed at dusk.