The Kangra style of Paintings
The Kangra style is by far the most poetic and lyrical of Indian styles, says art historian J. C. Harle.His favourite subject here is 'the idealization of woman, in flowing sari, head half-covered with a shawl, demure but stately, passionate and shy'. The more complex many-figured compositions - usually larger and horizontal in format - tend to illustrate events from the Krishna legend - the cowherd god putting out a forest fire, subduing the serpent Kaliya, or stealing the clothes of gopis (milkmaids of Braj) while they were bathing in the river.
The ability to handle large groups of figures and landscapes with towns or clusters of houses in the distance is admirable. Apart from intricate brushwork, Kangra miniatures are characterized by the skillful use of brilliant mineral and vegetable extract colours that possess an enamel-like lustre. But the strangest thing about these hill paintings is that you'll never find snow-capped mountains in them!
Research shows that while the Kangra style became well-entrenched in the Hills, many offshoots emerged in regions like Kullu, Nurpur, Chamba and Mandi. The Bhuri Singh Museum in Chamba is best-known for its exquisite collection of Pahari miniatures