As far as art & crafts are concerned, Rajasthan is one of the richest states in the nation. Its art is mostly inspired by the state’s royalty in the days of yore, resulting in magnificent forms of stone, leather, glass, clay, ivory, wood, brass, gold, silver and textiles. The creativity of Rajasthanis was often portrayed in the decorations of dwellings and other household objects too.
Rajasthan is well-known for its beautiful wall paintings that play a significant role in perpetuating historical and cultural information by expressing themselves on cloth. Its peculiar style of miniature paintings has its roots in the early 16th century, under the royal patronage. These paintings are known to depict scenes from varied aspects of its culture- from religious work to erotic texts, from court scenes to religious festivals and much more. The Shekhawati region is world renowned for its frescoes and the region has earned the epitaph of ‘ Open Air Art Gallery’. A unique kind of cloth hanging, called as the ‘Pichwai’ is placed in the temples of Vaishnav sect. The ‘Pichwais’ depict varying festivals, moods and seasons and thus, are changed in accordance with different seasons. Apart from these, another form of traditional paintings, termed as ‘Phads’ is done by the Bhopas- traditional singers known for singing the heroic deeds of legendary warriors.
To encourage these art forms, different schools of painting began to flourish during the 16th century. These learning centres included the Mewar, the Bundi- Kota kalam, Jaipur, Bikaner, Kishangarh and Marwar schools. The textiles of the Rajasthan region come in a wide range of tie & dye fabrics (Bandhani), hand-block prints and embroidered fabrics. The renowned Kota Doria sarees of Rajasthan are famous for their extremely light weight and elegant prints. The regions of Sanganer and Bagru are famous for their hand-block prints while Barmer is highly acclaimed for Ajrak prints. Nathwada excels in quilt covers and wraps while Jodhpur & Sikar are famous for its art of Bandhani.