12 Dec 2014

Art in Interiors: Miniature Paintings in Home Décor

Traditional miniature paintings are exquisite and should be displayed in an uncluttered environment.


Miniature paintings, as the name suggests are small format artworks with innate historical and traditional linkages. In India, the miniature style of painting is believed to date back to the 16th century, although earlier accounts do exist. Miniatures are traditionally colourful, intricately executed and are typically done on various surfaces such as paper, wood, silk etc. Early works feature portraits, ceremonies, court and hunting scenes, stories from epics and mythology – different schools have their own peculiarities and styles. Some of the notable traditions of miniature painting in India are the Mughal, Rajasthani, Pahari and Deccani courts.
 Traditional miniature painting 'Krishna and Radha' by Nihâl Chand, used under creative commons license, Art in Interiors, Art Scene India
This form of art is delightful and immensely collectable. Paintings which are old have a great vintage and antique value. Often rare and infrequently sold during auctions or private sales, the minute artworks are heavily prized for their delicately detailed work and their historicity.

Miniature paintings are exquisitely intricate and have such fine brushstroke that they need to be displayed on uncluttered walls with minimal mounts and frames so as not to distract from the wonderful stories that are being articulated in the images. From a home décor perspective, miniature art with its historical themes are ideally suitable for traditional and ethnic décors. The effect can be enhanced by displaying them in a cluster and highlighting them with suitable lighting. Grouping them according to theme, period and school which they belong, to build a narrative would work best to heighten the impact.

Mughal miniature painting from the Hamzanama series, used under creative commons license, Art in Interiors, Art Scene IndiaTheir antique look and vintage appearance add much to their value and as long as they are in fairy good condition one need not tamper with them.

In case, one doesn’t have access to original miniature works, there are a few artists who can reproduce and also make their own small format paintings. These too can be grouped and put up as part of a traditional décor and displayed in a similar way. Corresponding antique furniture and other artifacts which complement such a décor scheme will be in harmony with traditional miniature art, as well.


This article was published in The Times of India-The Address recently. 

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