The miniatures, as the
name indicates were small works, which were made on perishable material & hence no
definite proof of their birth & development can be traced.
Bengal, Bihar & Orissa, Buddhist manuscripts were illustrated, mostly
paintings of Buddha on palm leaves. They resemble the Ajanta style but on a
Gujarat, illustrations in Jaina manuscripts can be seen. The style of the Jaina caves at Ellora were followed. Some illustrations
were done on paper. In the later stages the fine application of colour
diminished. There was also some Persian influence which spread from here to
other places such as Mandu & Jaunpur.
Mughal emperors introduced their own style of miniature paintings with
Persian inspiration. Court scenes were depicted in grandeur. The background
was usually hilly landscapes. Flowers &
animals were also vastly depicted & in these the Indian artists applied their own
skill to develop on the Persian ideas. The
Rajput paintings can be put under two broad
groups, the Rajasthani style & the Pahari style. The subject matter of the paintings
were mostly religious & love subjects, based on Lord Rama & Lord Krishna. Court
scenes were depicted as also royal portraits. Bold outlines & brilliant colours are
characteristic of Rajasthani paintings.