Rajput School

Rajput School


(also Rajasthan school), one of the principal schools of Indian miniature painting of the 16th to 19th centuries. It existed in the Rajput princely states of Rajasthan and central India, where its main centers included Mewar, Marwar, Bundi, Kishangarh, and Malwa. In Rajput miniatures an important role was played by religious-mythological legends connected with the cult of Krishna, which in an original way reflected the ideas of bhakti, that is, an understanding of god through love. A special genre known as ragi, or ragini, was popular among the masters of the Rajput school. Ragi were illustrations to melodies, which corresponded to particular emotional states and were associated with a specific time of the year and, sometimes, specific weather conditions. Rajput miniatures are characterized by lyricism and a sensitive perception of nature.

In the early 17th century, after experiencing the influence of the Mogul school of miniatures, the Rajput school showed greater conventionality, on the whole. The traditions of Indian wall painting are reflected in the flat treatment of figures, the rich, vibrant coloring, and the elegant linear rhythms.

Until recently, some researchers included in the Rajput school the Pahari school, which appeared in the Himalayan Rajput princely states of Penjab. The Pahari (“Mountain”) school flourished from 1770 through the 1820’s and had centers in Basohli, Jammu, Guler, and Kangra.


Tiuliaev, S. I. Iskusstvo Indii. Moscow, 1968.

Barrett, D., and B. Gray. Painting of India. [Geneva] 1963.


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It is as much a tutorial as an exhibition, with Seitz first explaining the essential differences between the Mughal and Rajput schools.
Artists led by Abanindranath Tagore proclaimed a return to tradition and this was subsequently followed by an augmented fascination with Buddhist, Mughal, Pahari and Rajput Schools.