Modern Indian History - Arts and Paintings


  • Culturally, India showed signs of exhaustion during the 18th century. But at the same time, culture remained wholly traditionalist as well as some development took place.

  • Many of the painters of the Mughal School migrated to provincial courts and flourished at Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kashmir, and Patna.

  • The paintings of Kangra and Rajput Schools revealed new vitality and taste.

  • In the field of architecture, the Imambara of Lucknow reveals proficiency in technique.

Imambara of Lucknow
  • The city of Jaipur and its buildings are an example of continuing vigor.

  • Music continued to develop and flourish in the 18th century. Significant progress was made in this field in the reign of Mohammad Shah.

Literary Works

  • Poetry in reality, all the Indian languages lost its touch with life and became decorative, artificial, mechanical, and traditional.

  • A noteworthy feature of the literary life of the 18th century was the spread of Urdu language and the vigorous growth of Urdu poetry.

  • Urdu gradually became the medium of social intercourse among the upper classes of northern India.

  • The 18th century Kerala also witnessed the full development of Kathakali literature, drama, and dance.

  • Tayaumanavar (1706-44) was one of the best exponents of sittar poetry in Tamil. In line with other poets, he protested against the abuses of temple-rule and the caste system.

  • In Assam, literature developed under the patronage of the Ahom kings.

  • Heer Ranjha, the famous romantic epic in Punjabi, was composed at this time by Warris Shah.

  • For Sindhi literature, the 18th century was a period of enormous achievement.

  • Shah Abdul Latif composed his famous collection of poems.