Title - Dhenu in Zig Zag Design B.g.  ,Dimension-18X18inch, Material- Mix Media On Canvas

The Mughal rulers of Malwa, Deccan and Hindu Rajas of Rajasthan revived the art of miniature paintings in the last decades of the 16th century. Rajput art schools began to develop their distinctive styles combining indigenous as well as foreign influences (Persian, Mughal, Chinese, European). Four principal schools have several artistic styles which are patronised by various princely states; e.g. Mewar school by Chavand, Nathdwara, Devgarh, Udaipur and Sawar styles of painting,Marwar school comprising of  Kishangarh, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Pali and Ghanerao styles, Hadoti school belonging to Kota, Bundi and Jhalawar styles and Dhundar school of Amber, Jaipur, Shekhawati and Uniara styles. Kangra and Kullu schools also typify Rajput art painting.

Sawant Singh, the son of Maharaja Raj Singh, brought Kishangarh’s art, literature and music into limelight. He was  fluent in Persian, Marwari, Sanskrit and Punjabi dialects; had considerable knowledge of music, art and could skillfully use several war weapons with much ease. Princess Vaishanvi Kumari of the same lineage, a NIFT alumni, started Studio Kishangarh in 2010 as an effort to bring alive and contemporize the dying art of her state. The art & design workshop in Kishangarh, a city in the heart of Rajasthan, develops lifestyle & home accessories depicting the famous miniature paintings of traditional ‘Radha Krishna’ bhakti and the environed natural beauty; a must-visit for anybody touring this region.

Kamadhenu or the Sacred Cow Series pays homage to the iconic symbol of wealth, strength, abundance, selfless giving and full of earthly life in Hinduism.The sacred cow also denotes “purity and non-erotic fertility”. The Hindus  completely depended on it for their  dairy products and tilling of fields. That’s why the cow came to be  known as ‘Gau Mata’, equivalent to  a maternal figure, in India. The cow’s milk byproducts like Ghee(clarified butter), white butter, cream and buttermilk are an essential part of our staple diet;  its urine is used for medicinal and religious purposes and all these mixed together with dung,  form ‘Panchgavya’  which is an organic plant liquid fertilizer.  The cow dung  is still used as a basic cooking fuel by many poor families in India.

This is a tribute to this most popular poster animal of  the common man in India.

The local artists and craftsmen practicing this art of miniature painting, since generations, are being re-employed to make these exquisite hand crafted items. Most of the material used for the production of the merchandise, too, is locally sourced as the royal family continues to look into the best interests of the region by generating ways and means for the people to earn money.

As a tourist the Phool Mahal Palace Hotel and Roopangarh Fort in Kishangarh are good bets to view their production line at an in-house studio; Delhi Design Store, U Brand and Art d’nox in New Delhi and at Cinnamon in Bangalore, are other known retailers carrying them. The Princess also does customization of  similar works. You could email her for the same on vaishnavi@studiokishangarh.com or do e-shopping for the merchandize on websites like  studiokishangarh, jaypore , crafusion and shortly from tadpolestore too. I, came across this brand at an exhibition Royal Fables, held annually in Delhi where blue blooded designers promote their regional crafts in a contemporary light. “Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without shepherd.Without innovation its a corpse.” by Winston Churchill, defines the very essence of  revivalism for many………