Shekhawati and Warli Paintings on New Indian Stamps

The Indian Post has issued two stamps representing traditional Indian painting styles - Shekhawati and Warli.

Shekhawati painting originate from Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, known as the open-air art gallery of Rajasthan. They were hugely popular during their era, such was the demand that the skilled artists couldn't paint fast enough. Even masons tried their hands at the paintings giving them a wonderful naiveté and humorous touch. The subject matters of these paintings vary tremendously, from mythological stories and epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to the local legends of battles and hunts, nearly all of which has been painted over.

The Warlis are an indigenous tribe living in Mountainous as well as coastal areas of Maharashtra-Gujarat border and surrounding areas. Warlis carry on a tradition stretching back to 2500 or 3000 BCE. Their extremely rudimentary wall paintings use a very basic graphic vocabulary: a circle, a triangle and a square. Their paintings were monosyllabic. The circle and triangle come from their observation of nature, the circle representing the sun and the moon, the triangle derived from mountains and pointed trees. Only the square seems to obey a different logic and seems to be a human invention, indicating a sacred enclosure or a piece of land. The central motif in these ritual paintings is surrounded by scenes portraying hunting, fishing and farming, festivals and dances, trees and animals.

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