Manuscript of Shalihotra Samhita, Jodhpur

Shalihotra was a 3rd Century BC expert on animal rearing and healthcare. The veterinary treatise (Samhita) that he composed consists of 12,000 verses, and has been translated into Persian, Arabic, Tibetan, and English. This copy of Shalihotra Samhita dates from the late 18th century. It contains 160 illustrations of elephants and horses, illnesses and conditions… Read more »

Mithila: The Procession

The mithila or madhubani painting tradition originated in Bihar, and is claimed to be around 1200 years old. It is primarily practiced by women, who used to create these works on the walls of their house interiors. It was only by chance in 1934, when a massive earthquake destroyed of the artists’ mud homes, that… Read more »

Gond: Deer with Foxes

This is a Gond painting created in the tribal regions of Madhya Pradesh by Durga Bai in her signature style of small dashes, which replace continuous lines. It depicts two symmetrically placed deers, facing against each other and looking at a smaller animal, which look like blue foxes, on their backs. The stags have horns… Read more »

Gond: Dancing Elephants

This image is created by Durga Bai shows three figures who look like Ganesha dancing with two elephants. The painting is monochromatic, and the artist has experimented with the execution style including a wavy pattern, apart from the traditional dashes and the dots. One of the three Ganeshas stands atop the composite trunk of two… Read more »

Bhil: Man and Animal Forms

The Bhils are one of the oldest tribal communities of India, residing in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, etc. Like every other tribal community, the Bhil life and lifestyles are intricately connected with nature – an aspect that is also clearly evident in the art they create. This Bhil painting, created on paper,… Read more »

Mithila: Lion and Cub

The Mithila or Madhubani painting tradition originated in Bihar and is claimed to be around 1200 years old. It is primarily practiced by women, who used to create these works on the walls of their house interiors. Only a chance occassion n 1934 – a massive earthquake that led to the destruction of the mud… Read more »

Unicorn on a Wall and Houses

This watercolour depicts a singular house, in front of which stands a white unicorn. The detailing on certain sections of the house such as the turn of the staircase and the outer brick-wall are inspirations derived from extremely detailed Indian miniature paintings. There are two trees on either side of the building. However, the unicorn… Read more »

Red Horse Galloping

A self-taught artist, born in the small town of Pandharpur in Maharashtra, MF Husain has had an extraordinary career. It began with painting cinema posters and toys in Bombay and only really took off after he became a member of the PAG. His primary pictorial concern was to imagine a secular modern Indian art, to… Read more »

The Cross

In this painting, the artist depicts Jesus crucified in a traditional folkish set-up. Two goats look up at the cross, while architectural elements of what look like churches already seem to emerge in the backdrop. Madhvi Parekh got much of her exposure to art from her husband Manu Parekh who studied at the J.J. School… Read more »

Chera, Copper, Un-inscribed

The Chera dynasty ruled in southern India during the Sangam age between 3rd Century BC and 9th Century AD. During this time, the biggest empires in the region were the Cheras, Cholas and Pandyas. The Cheras, who controlled the west Malabar coast, were the first powerful dynasty from Kerala and hence given the moniker Keralaputras,… Read more »