History and Appreciation of Art from 13th Century AD to 18th Century AD

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  • After the decline of powerful dynasties part of India. During 12th century there were hardly any patrons to support large scale projects of art. Only few temples in Rajasthan, Bengal, Orissa construction has been taken place. Muslim rulers who did not patronize sculptural art restricted to building forts and Maqbaras.

  • Treasure of illustrated manuscripts of Indian art has enriched this period. Hindus, Jains and Buddhists are the different religions belonging to manuscript. Bengal, Gujarat and Bihar are the main centers of illustrated manuscripts. Under the help of Pala dynasty manuscripts were made in Bengal and Bihar, Pala style is the distinct style of this dynasty. In Gujarat Jain religious manuscripts were written and illustrated.

  • On the palm leaves these manuscripts were done. In this period some of the temple architecture was developed. Among these temple architecture marble temple complexes of Dilwara at Mount Abu and terracotta temples of Bengal and Orissa are very beautiful.

  • From the 16th Century A.D. to 19th Century A.D Rajput paintings and Mughal paintings flourished.

  • The Rajput paintings were combination of folk paintings and Ajanta paintings

  • The Mughal paintings were combination of Persian and Rajput painting Indian art started to decline after the 18th century.

Rasa Lila, Srinagar and Jain Miniature

Rasa Lila, Srinagar and Jain Miniature

Rasa Lila

In West Bengal, Bishnupur is a small town. Once Bankura district was the capital of this kingdom. Terracotta tiles are decorated for the small temples in that kingdom. Cultural and religious currents of 18th and 19th Century A.D are reflected by these Terracotta tiles. Shiva or Vishnu are the deity in small temples.

The theme of Terracotta tiles.

  • Shiva - Durga

  • Radha - Krishna

Are seen along with characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata.

  • Bengali thatched hut type in single or double stores is the design of temple architecture. Small pieces of terracotta tiles by sticking them on the wall with mortar the wall is decorated.

  • To make it in form of permanent terracotta they burn the clay tiles. Divine love of Radha and Krishna with their friends Gopi’s and Gopiyan is celebration of Raslila. The figures of Radha Krishna along with a Gopi is occupied by the middle of the circle.


  • Near Kangra valley the state of Guler is situated and Pahari School of paintings is one of the most important center’s in Guler. Under the different rulers of this kingdom this style flourished between 1450 A.D. to 1780 A.D. Under the influence of Folk art to Mughal miniature style Guler miniature went through different stages of development.

  • In the 18th Century A.D the Guler painting reached its maturity. Genuine romanticism of the myth of Krishna and Radha which is still a living symbol of divine love characterized by Guler painting. Themes of Guler paintings along with court scenes and royal portraits are used by Stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata.

  • Two standing figures are there in the figure. In this figure one is making a garland of flowers and other is holding a mirror. With an assistant a lady is busy combing hair for a bride.

Jain Miniature

From 7th Century A.D. Jain miniature paintings were developed all over India and reached its maturity during 10th Century A.D. and 15th Century A.D.

Jain scriptures like,

  • “Kalkacharya Katha”

  • “Kalpasutra”

These are illustrated with images of Tirthankaras like,

  • Parsvnath

  • Neminath

  • Rishabhnath

  • and others.

During the 10th Century A.D. most of the Jain miniatures were created.

Centers of these paintings are,

  • Punjab

  • Bengal

  • Orissa

  • Gujarat

  • Rajasthan.

The structure of this work of art space is partitioned into few squares and rectangles. The most predominant shades are red and yellow along with silver and gold colors.

Special characteristics can be seen in human figures in these paintings. In this painting lines are almost significant.

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