KANGRA PAINTING
Of greater significance as a social symptom is the phase of Kangra painting connected with the Sikhs, As was natural in a people with no traditional art of their own, the Sikhs had avidly adopted whatever art-forms were current in the areas they ravaged. They were thus, unconsciously, the 'art-carriers of the Punjab Hills. From about 1810 onwards, certain Kangra painters seem to have adjusted their subjects to Sikh requirements and thus a second provincial Kangra school was established, its chief centres being Lahore and Amritsar. Most of its products, however, have a garish brightness which makes them a travesty of Kangra painting proper.
These offshoots of the style by no means exhaust its ramifications for so compelling was the appeal of the Kangra feminine type that its general manner spread far and wide. In Chamba, a parallel school had developed under Guler influence in about the year 1775 and this continued throughout the nineteenth century. In Guler itself, it is likely that the local tradition gradually coalesced with that of Kangra while in Punch, yet another provincial Kangra school developed after 1813, the year when the Sikhs wrested the State from its Muslim ruler. The success with which the later Kangra style 'annexed' or subjugated painting in the Punjab Hills, is, in fact, the most convincing proof of its artistic vitality. Outside Tehri Garhwal, the achievements of these later artists were inconsiderable but during the great formative years from 1780 to 1806, the school had produced some of the most poetic and romantic pictures ever painted in India. It is these which make of Kangra painting one of the greatest schools of Indian art.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7