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Mandawa Paintings - The Expressions On The Walls

Walls Painting in MandawaPainting is the most beautiful way of expressing oneself and the people of Mandawa have long perfected this art. Mandawa is a small town located in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Be it the small houses of the local people of this town or massive havelis built by rich merchants for personal use, all are adorned with beautiful paintings. This reflects their love for color. Walk into any of the havelis of Mandawa and you will be rewarded with the amazing sights of mesmerizing paintings. The rich merchants had great inclination towards this art form which is popularly known as the Shekhawati fresco style. This style is locally termed as “ala gila”. The walls serve as the canvas for these paintings.

The Shekhawati paintings touch a wide variety of themes which kept changing from time to time. During the 18th century, mythology was the principal theme such as local legends, portraits, animals and hunting scenes. Later in the 19th century during the British rule the theme changed to the impact of the rule on Indian culture and the other themes were trains, cars, balloons and gramophones.

Some of the important themes of the paintings were:

Floral

It was the simplest theme mostly used for pillars and arches.

Religious

This theme was predominantly used for the interior spaces and entrances. Scenes from Indian religious legends and fables were picked up as a theme such as marriages of Gods, the war between Gods and Demons, scenes from the great Hindu Epic Ramayana and Ras Leela of Lord Krishna.

Historic

The themes consisted of battle scenes, portraits of the great rulers and other important historic events.

Secular

This theme had a place of pride on the outer walls of the establishments. It consisted of scenes of several ceremonies, of renowned lovers and of women peeping out of window.

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