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Art and Craft

Indian Art and Craft – Mysore Painting

Indian Art and Craft – Mysore Painting

Mysore Painting is one of the important classic art forms of India, a painting originated around the Mysore town in Karnataka. It is an art form encouraged by the rulers of Mysore especially the Vijayanagar Kings (1336-1565 AD).

The colours, finest details and the elegance make Mysore paintings distinct. The themes mostly are of Hindu Gods and Goddesses as well as scenes from Hindu Mythology.

The painting materials were prepared themselves by the ancient painters in Mysore. Colours as with many other art forms were made from vegetables, minerals. Leaves, stones and flowers were also used. Brushes were made of squirrel hairs, used for delicate works. A special variety of grass was used in making the brushes for drawing superfine lines.


Delicate lines, intricate brush strokes, graceful figures, bright vegetable colours and lustrous gold leaf were the characteristics of Mysore Paintings. It was not just a decorative piece but the painting is designed to inspire feeling of devotion and humility in the viewer.

Paper, wood cloth or wall were used as the medium or ground to draw. Once the ground is prepared a sketch was drawn with crayon prepared from the twigs of tamarind tree. The furthest objects like sky, hills, river etc. are painted next and then the human and animal figures were drawn with details.

Once the figures are drawn, the detailing is done including dresses and ornaments having gold covering which is the specialty of Mysore Painting.

After the fall of the Vijayanagar empire in 1565AD, distress started with the family of painters who depended on the patronage of the empire. They started migrating to other places like Tanjavur, Surpur etc.

Picture used for illustration only

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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