Miniature Painting

The tradition of miniature painting began in eastern India sometime in the 8th c, arriving in the west and Gujarat. In the mid-10th c, painted onto palm leaves and tree bark, these illustrations initially had an ornamental purpose, but soon became visual accompaniments to religious scriptures. In the beginning, the art of manuscript illustration was confined to the representation of gods and goddesses. There were taken directly from the stone carvings, with figures mostly drawn in three- quarter profile and deities in frontal position a seen in sculptures at the Sun temple in Modhera and Rani Vav in Patan.
Faces are characterized by a pointed nose and chin and the further eye protruding beyond the cheek line of the face in profile. The position of the eye is the hallmark of Gujarat’s miniature paintings, which were also used to illustrate Shvetambar Jain and Vaishnav texts and manuscripts. The Lalabhai Dalpathbhaim (L D) Institute of Indology, Ahmedabad houses about 76,000 handwritten Jain manuscripts with 500 illustrated versions, miniature paintings, cloth paintings, painted scrolls and decorative art.