DMPQ- “Painting reached new heights during medieval India.” Elucidate.

. During the period of Delhi Sultanate, mural painting has been reported from the royal palaces and royal bed-chambers and mosques. These chiefly depict flowers, leaves and plants. During the time of Iltutmish (1210-36) we have references of paintings. During the time of Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316) we have mural painting, miniature painting (of illustrated manuscripts) and paintings on cloths. During the Sultanate period, we notice the Persian and Arabic influences on Indian painting. We have references of the coming of Persian and Arabic illustrated manuscripts from Iran and the Arab world for the Muslim elites.

During this period, we have paintings from other regional states. The decorative paintings of the palace of the Gwalior king Man Singh Tomar impressed both Babur and Akbar.

During 14th – 15th centuries A.D. miniature painting emerged as a powerful movement in Gujarat and Rajasthan and spread to Central, North and Eastern India because of the patronage of rich Jain merchants. Mandu in M.P., Jaunpur in Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bengal in Eastern India were other great centres of manuscripts illustrated with paintings.

In Eastern India, in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, during the Pala kingdom in the 9th – 10th century A.D., a new kind of painting developed called the miniature painting. The miniature, as the name suggests, were small works which were made on perishable materials. In this category, Buddhist, Jain and Hindu manuscripts were illustrated, on palm leaves. They resemble the Ajanta style, but on a miniature scale. These were made on the request of the merchants, who donated them to the temples and monasteries.

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