Karnataka

Surpur miniature art faces extinction

A Surpur miniature painting by Rehaman Patel (top right) acquired by the National Gallery of Modern Art at New Delhi.— PHOTO: ARUN KULKARNI  

Surpur miniature art, recognised as one of the finest miniature art forms in the world, is facing extinction due to lack of institutional support and training to budding artists by seniors to keep this beautiful art form alive.

Surpur miniature art flourished under the then Surpur ruler Raja Venkatappa Naik during 1773 to 1858, which was described as the golden age of Surpur. It was during this period that artists from the Garudadri family, practicing miniature painting, migrated from Andhra Pradesh to Surpur (now in Yadgir district).

Banaiah Garudadri was the artist who popularised this art form and trained a number of artists who mastered in this art form in the erstwhile Surpur kingdom.

Intricate strokes in imaginative colours and use of pure gold thread embedded in the paintings, depicting tales from Indian mythology, provided grandeur to the paintings.

Senior artist Rehaman Patel, who is one among the very few artists who have kept the Surpur miniature art form alive, told The Hindu in Kalaburagi on Wednesday that since Garudadri family of artists hailed from Andhra Pradesh, their paintings had the influence of Golconda miniatures.

While the Garudadri paints focused on tales from mythology, the Golconda miniatures concentrated on the lifestyle of the kings and Sufis, he said.

Dr. Patel said that seven to eight artists, who were drawn to surpur miniature art, have now shifted their focus to other art forms due to lack of support from Karnataka Lalithakala Academy, an autonomous organisation under the Kannada and Culture State Ministry, to keep this art form alive.

Although the government released enough funds to the academy to support various art forms and help the artists, so far, the academy had not earmarked even 10 per cent of the funds for the protection and support of the traditional art forms, while major funds were spent for uplifting western art forms every year.

At present, Surpur paintings were found in the collection of famed artist Vijay Hagargundgi, Salarjung Museum in Hyderabad and the art gallery of Jaganmohan Palace in Mysore.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 11:13:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/surpur-miniature-art-faces-extinction/article7376926.ece

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