nari-kunjar – a unique genre of art

Nari-Kunjar a remarkably unique art genre which started trending amongst the Indian artists, starting early 17th century was a result of the influence of an art-style from Persia. The main composition of the artform is a framework of a Kunjar, a Sanskrit word, which means, the Elephant, within the shell, figures of women, nari, are artistically intertwined and seated in a creative manner. The figures are generally dancers, musicians or just a jubilant group of women. The creativity of the artist lies in the acrobatic postures used for the figures, their adjustment within the composition and their voluptuous form.
Shown below is a Persian (Left) and an Indian painting (right) of Composite elephant. Its evident, how much the Indo-Islamic artform influenced the Indian artstyle. The difference is the Persian painting is a Pashu-Kunjar (composite elephant made of animals) and the Indian style is Nari-Kunjar (composite made of women).
Read More : Ocher art gallery
Composite Elephant, Persian painting, 1600 (circa)
Victoria and Albert Museum, 1800 (circa)
19th Century , The British Museum
Early 17th century, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
circa 1750, Sothebys collection
1800 (circa), The British Museum
1820 – 1825, Victoria and Albert Museum

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