MINIATURE ART

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The earliest surviving evidence of Indian miniature paintings can be traced to the Buddhist and Jain texts which were decorated with illustrative artworks on scrolls and manuscripts. The advent of the Mughal rule in India ushered the influence of Persian miniature painting traditions on existing ateliers and new ones, resulting in the formation of what is now recognised as the Mughal, Rajput, Pahari and Deccani schools of miniature painting, among the prominent ones. Other smaller schools with recognisable styles and norms developed alongside these formative schools in the following centuries. Hindu and Muslim rulers alike commissioned significant miniature paintings in themes covering the whole gamut between religious to secular. These works are called miniatures owing to their size. The folio is meant to be handheld and full albums were commissioned with numerous painted images accompanying the text. The royal ateliers were massive artistic workshops where work was commissioned and created at par with their western contemporaries. The creation of a miniature folio was a complex process where different members of the atelier carried out different roles to produce one single folio of painting.