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The Bikaner School
The Bikaner School            
An exhibition of miniature paintings by Raju Swami from Bikaner
Inauguration by Prof. M.G.K. Menon, Life Trustee IIC
Raju Swami will present a demonstration of his art during the inauguration
On view in the Annexe Art Gallery 
On 3rd November 2012 at 11 am
Workshop on Miniature Painting
Conducted by Raju Swami
Venue: Lecture Room – II, Annexe
The Bikaner School of Miniature
The Bikaner School of Miniature originated during the reign of Rao Bika of Jodhpur (1488). Under the patronage of the rulers, it grew to become one of the finest schools of miniature art. The school closely followed Mughal traditional styles and this can be seen in the early examples which exists today from 1600 onwards. While the artistic style kept pace with painters in the Mughal Court, the Bikaneri artists were more expressive and nuanced. However the influence of the Mughal style was all pervasive and the Bikaneri style could be considered almost a provincial idiom of that style. There have been instances of Mughal and Bikaneri miniatures being mistaken for each other. A distinctive feature of the Bikaneri style is the palette of opaque and translucent vegetable and mineral water colours, and a delicate portrayal of flora, fauna and human forms.
Accounts from the royal archival diaries of day-to-day (bahis) and numerous inscriptions on Bikaner paintings, make this one of the best documented Rajput schools. Inscriptions, mainly in the Marwari dialect but also occasionally in Persian scripts, reveal the names of artists and dates and in some cases, even the place of production and occasions for which the works were commissioned. There is recorded evidence of interactions between visiting Muslim painters from neighboring Rajput states with local novices, who later adopted Islam and were called ustas. From the 16th through the 19th centuries the art flourished and is practiced even today.
Raju Swami
Raju Swami is one such master from the Bikaner School of Miniatures. A specialist in botanical and English botanical miniatures, his studio is like a traditional painter’s atelier - grinding mineral and stone colours by hand; preparing fine brushes from hair plucked from the tail of squirrels; burnishing handmade wasli paper; working with precious gold leaf; and preserving the skills and techniques honed over many generations.
Raju Swami often travels to the dessert outside Bikaner where he studies the plants, flowers and trees and translates them into creative botanical studies of exceptional beauty.
Raju Swami has exhibited extensively across the country and abroad. His paintings have been printed as UNICEF cards. His works have been published in the Garden of Life, by Naveen Patnaik (Doubleday New York); and his paintings were included in the 8th International Exhibition of Botanical Art and Illustration, organized by the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Pittsburgh.

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