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mewar miniature


Etymology: The Mewar school of painting derives its name from its place of origin, the Mewar province.

Origin: Mewar school stems from Mewar in the state of Rajasthan.

Location: The important centres for these miniatures are Chittor, Udaipur, and Nathdwara. 

Relevance: In the 19th century, European influence made its presence felt in the paintings of Mewar, primarily through the use of Kutch mounted prints. This influence significantly altered the overall dynamics of Rajasthani paintings and its various schools.


Significance: These miniatures draw more influence from the Rajput rulers rather than the Mughal rulers, as the Rajputs took over the settlements of the Bhil and Mina tribes. The attire worn by the characters in these miniatures distinctly reflects Rajput-Rajasthani clothing.

Culture and Societies: Mewar, situated in Rajasthan, primarily embodies Rajasthani culture. The local dialect spoken is Mewari, and the people of Mewar are socially cohesive, enthusiastically participating in festivals and wholeheartedly celebrating Rajasthani culture.

Religious significance: Mewar is categorized into Deogarh, Pratapgarh, and Nathdwara, each constituting a part of the broader Mewar group. The theme of the Krishna cult is significant across many artistic schools, including religious motifs from Gujarat Jain traditions, tales of Radha-Krishna, Vaishnavas, Srinathji, and more. Alongside the local style, one can also spot elements of Mughal art present in these paintings.

Understanding the Art

Mewar Miniature
The Mesmerising Miniature Art of Mewar (Image source:

Style: The sharp features of these miniatures set them apart from other Rajasthani miniatures.

Noteworthy attributes include sharp noses, often oval or rounded faces, and almond-shaped eyes. Notably, women are drawn  shorter than men in these artworks. The clothes  worn by the characters is a focal point and the depicted fabric appears translucent, adorned with light floral prints on ‘Chunnis’, ‘Ghaghras’, and blouses.

Central Motifs: Abundant in nature’s depiction, these paintings encapsulate the essence of Mewar’s surroundings—lush shrubbery, serene water bodies, and majestic mountains. The lotus flower holds particular significance, symbolising divinity and purity. Verdant scenery with the scarce depiction of architecture makes the composition of these paintings complete. 

new outlook

The British’s growing political power in the Mewar area during the 19th century had a limited effect on the Mewar school’s artistic heritage. In the latter half of the 19th century, there was a brief artistic change due to visits by British artists like William Carpenter, Val Prinsep, and Marianne North. However, by that time, Udaipur’s manuscript painting tradition had declined, and photography had started replacing the tradition of court paintings.

Mewar Miniature blogs