Shekhawati painting

Shekhawati painting style from Rajasthan

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Shekhawati painting style from Rajasthan

A famous painting style from Rajasthan. This style of painting got its name from the place Shekhawati. Shekhawati is made up of the present Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts of Rajasthan. Shekhawati literally means the land of the Shaikhs or the garden of the Shaikhs and the name is derived from the name of Rao Shaikh in the fifteenth century. Shekhawati was initially known as a trading center for silk, indigo, tobacco, wool and spices. On this occasion, the families of many famous industrialists and businessmen of India were living in Shekhawati. From their large mansions, etc., this artist got shelter and spread. He promoted the style of painting here. She was influenced by the English lifestyle in the top English immigrants. Museums of this style come to prominence from villages like Navalgad, Bissau, Bangar, Rajgad, Churu, etc.

Painting on the inner wall of the mansion

Shekhawati painting is seen as a masterpiece of Indian folk art. These paintings are mainly painted on the walls of mansions, forts, umbrellas, temples and bawdas in the old state of Jaipur in Rajasthan as well as in many villages in Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts. This style of painting is influenced by Mughal and Rajput style of painting and is still in its infancy. It is believed that this style of painting flourished through the confluence of the company painting system (school) and the folk art of Rajasthan. The influence of Shekhawati painting style is also seen on a type of mural decoration. In the Vaishnava temple of Srinathji at Nathdwar near Udaipur, it is customary to call this painting as a curtain behind the idol. Miniature painters painted large backs to express their devotion to Krishna and offered them to temples. They cover events in Srinathji’s life, such as sports, cow-rearing, bhog, autumn full moon, etc.

The names of the painters are inscribed on the Shekhawati painting as Chitera, Chitrakar, Painter. The names of more than 158 such painters have been collected by painter Ravindra Sharma and his colleagues and it has been concluded that they can be divided into two groups. Painters from Jaipur area have painted high quality paintings on the walls of temples, umbrellas and mansions. Some paintings have been drawn by painters from the Mason tribe of Islam and painters from the Hindu potter caste. The painters under the painting are also referred to as Chiterasi and some painters still draw such paintings on hire. There is not a single specific style of painting, but a mixture of different styles; However, based on the geographical classification, it has a separate pictorial part called ‘Shekhawati Chitre’. They often have a background (one-sided face). Shekhawati paintings are famous for their brightly colored murals.

Picture of the train on the outer wall of the mansion

The Shekhawati style of painting is diverse and combines modernity and tradition. From these pictures Mahabharata, Ramayana The subjects of the story as well as the metaphors of kings and queens and various animals and birds are painted and love pictures are painted in the bedroom. These paintings can be seen in various places like arches, decorations, roofs, walls (inside and outside). Pictures from the English execution also show children riding bicycles, foreign visitors riding elephants, chariots and various animals, modern vehicles such as trains, planes, ships, etc. Similar to the murals, some collages are found in the Shekhawati region. They have funny scenes like Goddess of Freedom, Leader, Radha-Krishna, Gopi in front of modern architecture. The photos of the team’s leaders Golwalkar, Guruji and Hedgewar are pasted on the Nathdwar picture. The collage deals with a wide variety of topics such as Nehru riding a horse on the Red Fort, Shri Ram blessing Gandhiji, Western woman and Saheb holding an umbrella, Sudamya’s Pohe.

The color scheme in these pictures is fragrant. The technique known as Jaipur mural painting appears in many murals. In some places, incomplete paintings remain after the death of the donor or the donor, which helps the practitioner to understand the method of drawing. It is seen that the painters used different colors for painting. Red lead for red color, green copper carbonate for green color, native blue for blue color etc. are used. After 1850, the exterior of the building was painted in lime and mud. After this period, ready-made paints made for foreign industries also came into use. Shekhawati paintings are being destroyed in modern times due to the practice of painting the walls white or other colors, as well as the process of demolishing old buildings and constructing flats. These relics need to be preserved. Intact, an organization working to preserve historical monuments, has undertaken the task of registering them during 1985-87.


  • Lamba, Abha Narain, Shekhawati: Havelis of the Merchant Princes, Mumbai, 2013.
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