Colour-scapes of Rajputana

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Located 206 km from Jaipur near Kota, Bundi is one of the most interesting cities in Rajasthan, known for its blue homes and palace frescos.

The Bundi School of Painting, which peaked during the 17th century and influenced the Kotah painters, depicted everyday life in the court of the Rajput rulers. It was documented by a French officer, Count Mondave, who travelled to Kota in the 17th century.

An exhibition of 27 photographs, ‘Frescos of Bundi Palace’ by Giorgio Bondi, closed at the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre in the capital March 25.

The images, minutely detailed and documentary in nature, captured the “water-colour transparency” of the fresco painters, who were masters of the figurative forms of the Rajput miniature school.

Bundi art culls liberally from the Krishna Leela, the lores of Radha and Krishna, the wars that the Rajputs waged against the Mughals, the life of the women in palaces and the numerous shrines that dot the hilly town, flanked by the Aravallis.

The photographs are also an archive of sorts, preserving the couture, and styles of 17th century Rajput women – detailing even the drapes of the long-sleeve dresses of Rajput women, the fine ‘dupattas’ (head scarves and body wraps), hairstyles, accessories and the heavy gemstone jewellery that accompanied the clothes.

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