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Miniature Melodies: An Evening Celebrating Rajasthani Miniature Art with Raitila Rajasthan

Rajasthani miniature

Art lovers assemble! This September, Rooftop is all set to launch a course like none other. A unique approach bringing together the 8 schools of Rajasthani Miniature Art under one roof! But this is not going to be just another launch. The debut of Rooftop’s Rajasthani Miniature Painting Course will be marked by an enchanting journey into the heart of Rajasthan’s rich artistic heritage through mesmerising Rajasthani folk melodies!

Want to know more about this dazzling event? Read on to explore all about an evening that is set to be a memorable experience for all art enthusiasts!

The Eight Schools of Rajasthani Miniature Art in The Rajasthani Miniature Course

Before we dive into what this event is all about, let’s cover the basics first! Learn all about the 8 schools of miniature paintings from the land of Maharajas which Rooftop’s course will be covering.

Rajasthan has been a cradle of artistic brilliance for centuries, and its miniature art is no exception. The state boasts eight distinct schools of Rajasthani miniature painting, each with its own unique style, technique, and cultural influences. Let’s take a closer look at these schools:

Mewar School:

Rajasthani Miniature
Yuddha Kanda of Ramayana, Sahibdin. Mewar, 1652 (Image source: NCERT)

The Mewar School of Painting in Rajasthan is believed to have originated in the pre-seventeenth century. But most early examples were lost due to wars with the Mughals. The school is associated with a set of Ragamala paintings from 1605, which share visual aesthetics with pre-seventeenth-century styles. During the reign of Jagat Singh I, artists like Sahibdin and Manohar reformed Mewar painting aesthetics. The school’s style evolved in the eighteenth century towards courtly activities and bright colours like reds and yellows.

Kota Bundi School:

Raga Dipak, Chunar Ragamala, Bundi, 1519 (Image source: NCERT)

Frequently grouped with the Bundi School of Miniature Painting, which flourished on the walls of Bundi’s royal chambers, the Bundi-Kota School of Miniature Painting emerged in Kota. These schools share common characteristics such as intricate brushwork, vibrant colours, and a focus on depicting emotions and nature. Particularly showing hunting scenes set in lush landscapes using local mineral and vegetable pigments.

Bikaner School:

Krishna lifts Mount Govardhan by Ustad Sahibd, Bikaner, c. 1690. (Image source: British Museum)

The Bikaner School of Painting, established during the reign of Rao Bika Rathore in 1488, developed a distinctive painting style influenced by Mughal elegance and a subdued colour palette. The Bikaner School of Painting is among the most well-documented of all schools. This is thanks to accounts found in Bahis, royal archival diaries, and various inscriptions on Bikaner paintings.

Kishangarh School:

Rajasthani Miniature
Krishna and Radha in a pavilion, Nihal Chand, Kishangarh, 1750 (Image source: NCERT)

The paintings of this school feature unique facial characteristics like arched eyebrows, lotus-petal-shaped eyes with a touch of pink, and slender noses and lips. Founded in 1609 by Kishan Singh, it evolved over time. These artists emphasised elongated human forms, lush greenery, and panoramic landscapes. Addionally, they often depicted themes related to Radha and Krishna because of their association with the Pushtimargiya cult of Vallabhacharya.

Jaipur School:

Rajasthani Miniature
The Hour of Godhuli, 1780, Jaipur (Image source: NCERT)

The Jaipur School of Painting began in Amer and owed its influence to the close relations with the Mughal emperors. Under Sawai Pratap Singh, it developed a unique style blending Mughal and indigenous elements. This period saw a flourishing of large-format paintings, including life-size portraits.The themes ranged from royal scenes to literary and religious subjects, often adorned with gold.

Nathdwara School:  

Krishna as Shrinathji celebrating Sarad Purnima, Nathdwara, 1800 (Image source: NCERT)

Originating in the late seventeenth century in the town of Nathdwara and closely associated with the Vaishnava tradition is the Nathdwara School of Painting. Despite various influences from Rajasthani schools, the artists of this school developed a unique style driven by their devotion to Shrinathji. They created emotionally charged works, devoid of intellectual objectives, aiming to please Shrinathji through distinct form, composition, and colour choices.

Jodhpur School:

Rajasthani Miniature
Dhola and Maru, Jodhpur, 1810 (Image source: NCERT)

The Jodhpur School of Painting, influenced by Mughal aesthetics since the sixteenth century, blended these influences into portraiture and court scenes. Yet, the enduring indigenous folk style, deeply ingrained in the culture, remained dominant in most paintings. During Maharaja Jaswant Singh’s rule in the mid-seventeenth century, a productive period of documentary painting unfolded, including portraits and depictions of court life.

Rooftop’s course on Rajasthani Miniature Paintings features master artists from each of these eight schools. Through this course, these artists are embarking on a unique endeavour to bring the knowledge of their rich traditions right to your fingertips!

Deogarh School:

Rawat Jawant Singh of Deogarh with his inner circle of nobles, circa 1776 CE, Bagta collection (Image source: The Heritage Lab)

The Deogarh School emerged as a separate entity from the prominent Mewar School due to an oversaturation of artists in the capital. Thus leading some to seek new patrons independently. In Deogarh miniatures, much like in the broader context of Rajasthan, their artistic focus centred on depicting the private lives and court ceremonies of the ruling Rawats. But they occasionally ventured into lighter themes like the Krishna Lila for variety.

Rajasthani Miniature and Music: An Evening to Remember

Now that you have a fair understanding of the defining features of the 8 Rajasthani miniature schools, you must be wondering about the fusion of art and music that we talked about earlier.

At the launch of this course at the event “Miniature Melodies,” Raitila Rajasthan, a band of talented musicians, will transport you to the mystical landscapes and royal courts of Rajasthan through their soul-stirring music. With traditional instruments and authentic Manganiyar repertoire, they will infuse life into the Rajasthani miniature art that adorns the venue.

Rajasthani Miniature Art x Humans of Raitila Rajasthan

Whether you’re a social media expert or not, it’s highly improbable that you haven’t come across the song “Mithoda Mehmaan” by Raitila Rajasthan. 

This song by the band became a #trending sensation on Instagram’s reels after they performed it for the Netflix Series “Mismatched.” Rooftop’s aim for this course launch is to elevate Rajasthani Miniature art into the next big art trend, and combining Raitila Rajasthan’s music with Rajasthan’s rich art history is a surefire way to make it happen!

Without further ado, let’s meet the heart and soul of Raitila Rajasthan. The six members of the folk music band from the land of Thar, Sarangi and Meera Bai.

Six Stars, Six Strains: Orchestrating Musical Brilliance

  • Dayam Khan: A master of Manganiyar repertoire, Dayam Khan hails from Kotda village in Barmer. Not only does he serve as the band’s lead vocalist, but he’s also a skilled harmonium player. He adds an authentic touch to their performances.
  • Jalal Khan: Another vital member of the band, Jalal Khan, comes from Chandhan village in Jaisalmer. His talents extend beyond his powerful vocals, as he is proficient in playing the Dholak and Kartal. He is skilled at enriching the band’s repertoire with old Rajasthani compositions.
  • Vikram Ranawat: Representing the Dholi community of traditional musicians from Pali Marwar, Vikram Ranawat is the lead percussionist of Raitila. His expertise with the Dholak and Tabla, coupled with his role as a guest faculty member at JNV University in Jodhpur, showcases his commitment to the art of music.
  • Ikhlash Khan Langa: Hailing from the Phalodi region of Marwar, Ikhlash Khan is a master of the Sindhi Sarangi. He leads the band’s string and melody section, infusing his mastery into their performances.
  • Sakoor Khan Langa: A multi-instrumentalist from Hingola village in Jodhpur district, Sakoor Khan showcases his talents on rare instruments such as the Algoza (double flute), Morchang, and Khartal, adding a unique dimension to the band’s sound.
  • Kailash Khan Manganiar: From Bhadli village in Barmer, Kailash Khan Manganiar’s distinctive voice and harmonium skills make him a valuable member of Raitila Rajasthan. His deep knowledge of traditional and Sufi songs enriches the band’s repertoire.

Together, these talented musicians from diverse backgrounds come together to create the captivating and soul-stirring music that defines Raitila Rajasthan. 

Wrapping it Up

Rooftop’s grand finale: the launch event titled “Miniature Melodies,” featuring the talented band, Raitila Rajasthan is indeed a perfect way to wrap up the four-day Indiyart exhibition. 

This evening is a tribute to the enduring elegance of Rajasthani miniature art and the captivating melodies of Raitila Rajasthan. “Miniature Melodies” is a testament to Indiyart’s unwavering commitment to nurturing diverse artistic expressions in our vibrant country.

Interested in delving deeper into the world of Indiyart? Here’s the perfect blog to know all about Rooftop’s specially curated exhibition of Indian art forms!

Can’t make it to Indiyart but don’t want to miss out on experiencing traditional art forms? Download the Rooftop app from Google Play or the App Store to stay updated on upcoming art events and workshops. For any queries, contact us at +919820560980 or connect@rooftopapp.com

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