Lyrical Lines and Colours
Lahore Museum in collaboration with the Lahore Literary Festival has put up a special exhibition titled Lyrical Lines and Colours: Stories from Punjab Hill States. The exhibition displays sixty selected miniatures of the Pahari School of Miniature Paintings from the Lahore Museum’s collection. This is the first exhibition of its kind to be put up by the Lahore Museum and a unique opportunity to look at these works.
Prof. B. N. Goswamy, the renowned Indian art critic and art historian will inaugurate the exhibition on 18th February, 2016. The exhibition will continue till 18th March 2016 daily from 9 am to 3.30 pm except Fridays.
As the Mughal patronage of art declined from the middle of the 17th century onwards, artists attached with the court took refuge with smaller rajahs of distant states. To varying degrees, the indigenous schools of these states combined the imperial Mughal style with their preexisting local styles giving birth to new forms.
Pahari painting developed and flourished during the 17th to 19th centuries under patronage of local rulers from Punjab Hill States. Individual schools of Pahari Painting derive their nomenclature from the name of the state where each developed. However, these schools also witnessed cross-pollination, with traveling families of artists regularly moving from one patron to the other. The three most famous schools are Basohli, Guler, and Kangra.
Pahari painting is characterized by its rich, brilliant color, but its genius lies in the use of line. In the best examples, flat washes of primary colors are enclosed within fearless, animated outlines that display the control and mastery of the ustad. Unlike the Mughal School, the Basohli and Guler qalams use shading sparingly. Instead, color is allowed to assume a symbolic meaning. Yellow is used for the arrival of spring; sunlight; ripeness of mangoes; or the eagerness of a new love. Blue is the color of Krishna, the main protagonist of so many Pahari paintings. Red is the color of passionate love.