Paintings of Assam

Paintings of Assam


The tradition of paintings in Assam can be traced back several centuries. The gifts presented to the Chinese traveller, Hiuen Tsang, and to Harshavardhana by Kumar Bhaskara, the king of Kamrupa, included a number of paintings and painted objects, some of which were done on exclusive Assam Silk. Assamese literature of the medieval period contains references to chitrakars and patuas who were expert painters, They used various locally available materials like hengool and haital. A large number of manuscripts of that time have excellent paintings in them, some of the most famous being Hastividyarnava (A Treatise on Elephants), Chitra Bhagavata, and Gita Govinda. Assamese palaces and naam-ghara still display brightly coloured paintings depicting various stories and events from history and mythology. In fact, the motifs and designs contained in Chitra Bhagavata have been adopted as the traditional style for Assamese painting and are visible even today.

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