|Snippets of information - Paintings - Kerala Murals|
31 May 2020
Kerala Murals - Pigments and glues prepared from materials obtained from
nature, purified and mixed in definite proportions are applied on
freshly prepared walls of temples, churches, palaces and houses. Brushes
made of natural materials are used to apply the prepared pigments in
dot and lines, over light washes if needed, to compose each figure. The
resilience of the pigments offers strength and stability to the painting
assuring long life to the work done. Anatomy of characters, including
animals trees etc, are represented in a regionally stylized form. One
panel might hold several scenes Separated by specific lines (manimala).
Yellow, red, green, white and black are the most prominent hues seen in
the murals of Kerala. Deities when drawn are mostly based on the
invocatory verses found in the relevant ancient scriptures. When such a
work is undertaken, a muralist is instructed to follow certain
Observances and meditate up on th eproposed form. The various components
in a panel remind us of iconography symbols as well as the patterns and
figures done on floor using powdered natural pigments (kalamezhuthu),
pointing towards the evolution of the mural style.
Kerala, often referred to as Godís own country
has a very interesting history of mural making. Believed to have
started in the 7th and 8th century; majorly influenced by Pallava art.
The oldest Kerala style murals have been found at a rock cut temple of
Thirunandikara, now in Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu which was probably made
in the 9th or 10th century. There is some doubt about mural making in
between 10th and 13th centuries but from the 14th to 16th century many
were made and continue to this day after continuing revival efforts.
The magnificent art of mural painting is well depicted in
many temples across Kerala. The Vaddakumnathan temple at Thrissur, the
Chemmanthita Siva temple, Thrissur, Kudamaloor, Kannur, Thodeekkalam,
Kannur, the Sreevallabha temple, Thiruvalla the Mahadeva Siva temple,
Ettamanoor, Pallikarup Mahavishnu temple, Mannarkad, Palakkad, the
Padmanabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram, Guruvayur temple,
Guruvayur, Vaikom temple, Kottayam, among many others.
- Art of Kerala : magnificent murals, Soma Ghosh, deccanviews.wordpress.com