Jain Palm Leaf Paintings
of the Indian art was associated with religion through historical times
and long before the first century AD, paintings were used as illustrations
for manuscripts or depiction of religious themes.
first Indian books were a collection of loosely threaded palm leaves not
more than two inches high and held between wooden covers. Some of those
surviving from the 11th century are the Pala Buddist
Manuscripts from Bihar and Bengal and the Jain manuscripts from Gujarat.
the 12th century under the onslaught of Islamic invaders, the
Pala Buddist style art was relegated to Nepal and Tibet where it was
carried forward in the Himalayan monasteries.
The Jain Palm leaf painting flourished due to the patronage of the rich sea faring Jain merchants of Gujarat who established libraries of sacred texts with illustrations.
Jain paintings shifted from the used of Palm leaf to paper brought from
Persia, in the 15th century adding height to the size of the
paintings. Also blue and green pigment were first introduced to these
during the 16th century. A unique feature of early Jain
paintings was the bulging second eye visible even in profile portraits
gradually more elaborate treatment of the surroundings emerged as opposed
to the earlier works focussing only on Jain Saints, Gods and patrons.
have divided Hindu Miniature Paintings into two broad categories, those
from the Central Plains, called Rajasthani, and those from the Punjab
foothills, called the Pahari.