About Madhya Pradesh’s Gond paintings and why each piece is a masterpiece


About Madhya Pradesh’s Gond paintings and why each piece is a masterpiece

India’s Gond tribe is famous for its vibrant artworks. Initially, the art form was confined to decorating their homes, and unknown to outsiders. However, four decades later, these art forms are exhibited in galleries worldwide.

Madhya Pradesh is the second-largest state in India, and boasts of landmarks from different eras of Indian history. With three UNESCO World Heritage sites under its belt, this central Indian state features prominently in India’s tourism map. Famous for its wildlife sanctuaries, heritage sites, and national parks, Madhya Pradesh is also home to one of the largest tribal groups in the world.

Gonds tribal group in Madhya Pradesh, with a population of around four million, is one the largest in the world. While many from this community are daily wagers, and dependent on agriculture, the one in Patangarh village is an exception. And this community deserves all the attention for preserving one of the unique art styles of India, i.e., the Gond art. Such is the charm of Gond paintings that people from far and near visit this region to get a closer view and understanding about it.

In fact, those travelling to Madhya Pradesh will find a glimpse of these paintings in most of the places.

Things to know about Gond paintings

About Madhya Pradesh’s Gond paintings and why each piece is a masterpiece

Patangarh, where even today, almost every family has at least one artist; it is a place where once the legendary Gond artist Jangarh Singh Shyam used to live. Initially, it started as a traditional art form that could be seen on the mud walls of the houses. However, by the early 1980s, it expanded to various forms of art.

The Gond people believe that seeing a good image attracts good luck, a reason why they used to decorate the walls and floors of their homes with traditional motifs. These paintings have also been used by them as a way to record their history.

Although Gond paintings have been centuries-old, with the passage of time, this art form has gradually shifted from the mud walls of the houses to canvas and papers. Apart from deriving inspirations from legends and myths, these paintings majorly feature nature as their main subject.

The process of creating this art form

Often described as On Line Work, this art form is created out of meticulously drawn lines, which convey a sense of movement to the still images. To add to the amount of movement detail, dashes and dots are added. Also, another interesting feature of this art form is the use of bright colours, such as yellow, red, white, and blue.

The paints are typically derived from natural surrounding objects, such as coloured soil, charcoal, mud, plant sap, leaves, flowers, and even cow dung. However, now due to the scarcity of natural colours, the artists have begun to use canvas and poster colours to create these art forms.

Each Gond painting is a masterpiece, and is unique in its own. Blended with mystery, pattern, blend of colours and humour, these art pieces depict a modern psyche.

Where to find them?

Take a tour to Village Patangarh in Madhya Pradesh to see these masterpieces brought to life by the Gond community. Other than this, exhibitions are also held to provide a platform to these artists, where they showcase their paintings.

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