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Shekhawati Paintings

Shekhawati wall paintingThe havelis of Shekhawati Rajasthan are known the world over for their wall paintings. The themes of these frescoes depict gods, kings, flowers, arabesques and scenes from daily life. The Shekhawati paintings also depict Europeans, as can be identified by their hats in a sea of turbans, in scenes of infantry in opposite sides.


The technique of Fresco painting in Shekhawati was neither primitive nor unique to the area. Instead it resembles closely the Italian Fresco technique developed around the 14th century. In Shekhawati, the fresco painters were called Chiteras and belonged to the caste of Kumhars (Potters). They were also called Chejaras (masons), since they performed both the functions of painting as well as of constructing the buildings.


Initially only natural pigments were used for colour e.g. Kajal (Lamp black), Safeda (Lime) for white, Neel (indigo) for blue, Geru (red stone) for red, kesar (saffron) for orange and pevri (yellow clay) for yellow ochre. Later on, chemical pigments and synthetic dyes from Germany and England were also introduced. The Chhatris at Narhad (built in 1508 AD) and Jhunjhunu (built by Hansa Ram 1680-82) are fine specimens of this form of painting.


The colourful painting and design styles also find expression in the furniture of this region, the most notable being Shekhawati chairs.
 
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Taj Mahal, Agra

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had Taj Mahal constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who is entombed here alongside Shah Jahan (who was buried later).

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