Indian Traditions of Visual Arts (Drik Kala): Painting - Prehistoric Paintings




Prehistoric Paintings:

Prehistoric Painting 

  • The term ‘Prehistory’ refers to the many thousand years when there was no existence of paper, language, or any written records in a given culture or society. 
  • Painting is one of the oldest forms which is practiced by humans to satisfy their aesthetic sensitivity and creative urges.
  • Petroglyphs are prehistoric paintings that are typically created in caves on cave rocks.
  • Excavations of Prehistoric sites give us fairly accurate knowledge about what happened and how people lived in prehistoric times.
  • Prehistoric paintings can be found during the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and Chalcolithic periods.
  • The subjects of their drawings were human figures, human activities, geometric designs, and symbols.
  • Prehistoric men's daily lives were frequently depicted in stick-like human figures.
  • Ochre is a pigment mineral used as colour. 
  • Bhimbetka Caves and Narsingarh Caves in Madhya Pradesh, and Jogimara Caves in Chhattisgarh, are a few examples.

1. Bhimbetka Rock Paintings:

Group hunting in Bhimbetka Caves in MP

  • It is located south of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh's Vindhyan ranges, with rock shelters containing over 500 rock paintings.
  • V. S. Wakankar discovered the Bhimbetka caves in 1957-58.
  • In 2003, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • The oldest paintings are thought to be 30,000 years old and have survived because of their location deep within the caves.
  • Bhimbetka's paintings date from the Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Chalcolithic, early historic, and medieval periods. However, the majority of the paintings date from the Mesolithic period.
  • The themes of the paintings found here are of great variety. These include hunting, dancing, music, horse and elephant riders, animal fighting, honey collection, decoration of bodies, and other household scenes.
  • Elephants, bison, deer, peacocks, and snakes are among the animals depicted. 
  • Natural resources are used to create colors such as red ochre, purple, brown, white, yellow, and green. For the red color, haematite ores were used, and the white color was most likely derived from limestone. Green made from Chalcedony, a green-colored rock. Plant fiber was used to make the brushes.
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