Patna Kalam Painting

The Patna Kalam or ‘Indo British Style’ developed under the patronage of the British, coinciding with the miniature painting style of India and the British style. It was the predominance of individual paintings, and pictures drawn in this style emerged from the midst of the tragedies of ordinary life.The Patna Kalam style was independently the first such art style in the world to place common people and their lives on canvas. This style, based on watercolor, began in the Mughal court and the British court around 1760. It was started by Nohar and Manohar, two artists of the court of Mughal emperor Akbar.Later his disciples came to Patna and made many experiments in this style and created artworks on the lifestyle of common people. The genre developed rapidly and spread its fame all around. In the mid-eighteenth century there were three schools of painting – Mughal, Aglo-Indian and Pahari. But Patna Kalam made a rapid place among them all. This style later came to be known as Indo-British style.In the state of the decline of the Mughal Empire, artists could not get patronage in the royal court. Due to this, their migration was started in other areas. In the same sequence, circulated painters of 1760 returned to the then capital ‘Pataliputra’. These migrant painters developed the regional form of painting by settling in the well region of Lodi Katra, MughalpuraDewanMohalla, Machharhatta and Nityananda in the capital, and some other painters in Ara and Danapur.This painting style is called ‘Patna Kalam’ or ‘Patna Style’. Patna Kalam paintings fall under the category of miniature paintings, mostly made on paper and sometimes ivory.In this style, the painters gave importance to Particular person, festivals and animals. In this style, painting and coloring of Patna kalam has been done from the brush itself and mostly dark brown, dark red, light yellow and dark blue colors have been used.

Features of Patna Kalam Painting: In this painting style, human pictures are predominant and pictures drawn in this style depict the tragedies of common life.Most of the paintings are of small grade and mostly made on paper. Later such paintings have also been done on ivory.Paintings on daily life abound in this style.The theme of painting is based on daily laborers, fish sellers, basket makers.In this style of painting, colors made from native plants, bark, flowers and metals are used. Mostly dark brown, dark red, light yellow and dark blue colors have been used.The prominent painters of this style are Sevak Ram, Hulas Lal, Jayaram, Shiv DayalLal etc. Since most of the painters of this style are men, it is also called ‘men’s painting’.In this style painting is done directly with a brush without using a pencil to outline the figure of the picture. This technique is commonly known as ‘KajaliSihai’.

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