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Traditional Indian Art Depicting Weddings and Processions

Source - heritagelab.in

“The Big Fat Indian Wedding” is a phrase that encapsulates the grandeur, vibrant colours, intricate rituals, and traditions of the ceremony. The diverse regions and ethnicities give rise to not less than an equal number of traditions. These ceremonies are an expression of people’s cultural and communal emotions. Each tradition symbolizes hope, spirituality and companionship. In today’s digital world, the populace captures each memory on cellulars, post-wedding shoots, pre-wedding and the likes of it, have become a fad. But, to many people’s surprise, this isn’t the modern world’s trend. Centuries ago, art and artists played a major role in capturing the essence of ceremonies of Indian culture. Today’s blog of traditional Indian art depicting weddings and processions will draw an understanding of India’s celebration of love and the rich heritage of Indian art.

Indian Art Depicting Weddings : A Journey Through Time and Tradition

The portrayal of weddings and processions dates back to ancient cave paintings and frescoes. It was one of the common motifs to represent the unison of deities as well as human beings. Art is a fluid medium and it creates a boundless scope for imagination. Therefore each traditional Indian art form has its school of thought and style to depict the weddings and processions. Sometimes, there is a sweet tale behind the paintings which allows us to explore and experience Indian history and mythology. 

The artistic depiction of these ceremonies promotes not only the traditional art form but also preserves the multi-cultural tolerance. It acts as a window to understand the practice of different customs of regions and communities in India. From the grandiosity of a Mughal miniature depicting a wedding to the humble, close-knit celebration in Warli paintings speaks a lot about the social fabric of India. 

As art has always been accompanied by purpose, Indian art depicting weddings isn’t a mere picture of beauty and joy. It also narrates the dynamics of gender roles in a wedding ceremony, social norms and changes. 

When a painting is linked with historical or mythological tales, we are all ears, aren’t we? The folktales and stories about deities highlight the spiritual significance. This, in turn, strengthens the sacred bond.      

Indian Art Depicting Weddings – The Art Forms

Ajanta and Ellora: The Ancient Narratives

The Ajanta and Ellora caves, carved between the 2nd century BCE and 480 CE, are masterpieces of Indian art and architecture. The frescoes within these caves capture various aspects of life, including weddings and processions. As seen in the above image, the cave sculpture depicts the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. The bride and groom are surrounded by other deities, all captured in meticulous detail. 

The Interesting Tale of Nala-Damyanti – An Artwork Influenced by Vakataka Painting Style

Source – heritagelab.in

Artist Nandala Bose beautifully captured the famous tale of Nala-Damyanti. It is an illustrious example of the influence of Ajanta cave paintings and art style. This scene portrays the Swayamwar of Damyanti. The mythological tale goes that, Nala was an intelligent, handsome ruler of the Nishadha Kingdom and Damyanti was a princess of the Vidarbha Kingdom known for her beauty and wisdom. Despite being from different kingdoms, they fell in love listening to each other’s virtues. So much so, that even after being pursued by the King of Gods, Indra, Damyanti refused to marry the deity and remained steadfast in her love for Nala. After enduring several hardships and deceptions, both of them held onto each other and lived happily ever after.  

Mughal Miniatures

Source – heritagelab.in

The Mughal miniatures are a blend of Persian and Indian styles of painting. Mughal miniatures were known for their depictions of court life, wildlife and hunting scenes. The colour palette was bright and brilliant with organic hues and a dash of pure gold and silver. Here is a miniature painting depicting one of the rituals followed in wedding ceremonies.

Pattachitra

Source – heritagelab.in

Pattachitra, an art form from Odisha and West Bengal, involves painting on cloth scrolls. These scrolls often narrate stories of deities and local legends, including weddings and processions. The detailed and colourful depictions on Pattachitra scrolls highlight the traditional attire, musical instruments, and ceremonial objects, providing a rich visual narrative of these celebrations. This is a ritual called Vidai, where the bride leaves her maternal home and accepts her husband’s house as her own.

Tanjore 

Source – heritagelab.in

Tanjore paintings are typically done in bright colours and heavy usage of gold foil. Originating from Tamil Nadu, India, it is known for its lavish use of jewels and precious stones. It majorly depicts deities and devotional icons. The one here illustrates the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati, attended by other gods and goddesses.

Chamba Painting

Source – heritagelab.in

Chamba painting, originating from the Chamba region in Himachal Pradesh, India, is a distinctive style of Pahari miniature art. Known for its delicate lines, vibrant colours, and intricate detailing, The use of natural pigments and fine brushes lends these paintings a unique luminosity and finesse, making them cherished representations of the region’s cultural and artistic heritage. This painting illustrates the Baraat ceremony along with the rituals carried out by the women. 

The Rooftop Touch

Rooftop is one of the leading platforms offering traditional Indian art workshops and more. It is a window to the vibrant and diverse art heritage of India. It advocates preserving Indian art forms that have come from remote pockets of India. Rooftop is an experience, that brings you the joy of connecting to your roots, indulging in self-love and learning at your own pace. Rooftop offers a plethora of options to explore traditional Indian art forms and choose from. Online and offline workshops along with self-paced Maestro courses are some of the features offered by Rooftop.

The Rooftop Artists

We believe that every individual on the artistic journey crafts a unique masterpiece. And here we are with some of the wonderful creations done by artists who are a part of the Rooftop participants and mentor community. It is their sheer love for traditional Indian art that keeps Rooftop motivated to make Indian art further accessible and experiential.

Warli painting created by Artist Renu Behl
Cheriyal art created by Artist Chitra Sarkar
Madhubani painting created by Artist Dipanwita Mukherjee
Phad painting created by Artist Ira Sheel

To learn more about Indian art exhibitions and galleries, download the Rooftop app from Google Play or App Store to stay updated on our upcoming art events and workshops. Stay tuned to rooftop blogs and follow us on @rooftop_app

By Sayali Parkar

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