The Art of Bikaner

The art terrain of Mahaveer Swami presents a large expanse of diverse creative reflections that mirror the artist’s encounters with what he has inherited along with his response to the ever-changing time and space as in contemporary reality. In sync with established traditions and practices as exemplified in the art of illustrated manuscripts of the medieval era on the one hand, his works represent a continuum within the living arts of today’s India, on the other. Incorporating decorative embellishments that draw on history and mythology, along with the surrounding habitat and abstractions from nature; his art-scape appears in a distinct and unique form and feel, coloured in the creator’s own persona and passion.

Mahaveer Swami, born in 1959 at Bikaner in Rajasthan, is a descendent from a family of traditional painters based in the historic city. He trained first under his father and grandfather, and subsequently with the late Vedpal Sharma ‘Bannu’ in Jaipur. With his mastery in drawing, coloring and compositions, he is credited with reviving the original sophistication and refinement of the Bikaner School of painting. Starting his career with making copies of old paintings, he now explores newer and contemporary subjects, such as his series of paintings based on the daily life of Indian women, a theme rarely explored by miniature painters. Influenced by his studies of Mughal and Rajasthani miniatures, much of his work is based on Hindu themes and includes ascetics and mystics, besides botanical imagery executed in ethereal colors and fine brushwork.