Kerala mural painting history
Murals of Kerala -M.G.Sasibhooshan
The Art of Painting on Walls
Professor Dr. Bibhudutta Baral and Mr. Antony William
NID R&D campus, Bangalore
Renowned widespread illustrations of Vishnu in various personifications are the oldest paintings found in Kerala. Other common murals are of Ganesha and manifestations of Siva.
Thrissur houses many mural paintings in the temples like:
• Pallimanna Shiva Temple with the illustrations of the story ofRamayana on the walls of the Mattancheri Palace and in SankaraNarayana, Mahabharata is retold.
• Vadakkunatha Temple with twin sets of paintings – in the interiors and the other in a small shrine
• The Chemmanthatta Temple of Shiva has sculptural art of Krishnaand Balarama at its entrance
Others murals can be found in:
• The Padmanabhapuram Palace houses murals portrayingpuranic themes from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
• Krishnapuram Palace at Kayamkulam has a big panel of Gajendramoksham existing during the earlier eighteenth century era.
• Panayannarkkavu Murals depicts Hindu mythology on the walls of SaptaMatha temple of Panayannarkkavu.
• Ettumanoor Murals depicts the epics with imaginative panorama of a music concert by the Gods and Goddesses.
• Pundareekapuram Murals depicts the Hindu epics and also the frolics of Lord Krishna.
• Rama Temple atTriprayarrepresents Rama and his coronation, Vishnu, Krishna and Sita.
• Guruvayur and AranmulaParthasarthytemples have many wall paintings.
• Marathiavolom temple in Alleppeyhas many paintings on Krishna.
• St. George’s Orthodox Churchis surrounded with Christian murals depictingscriptural stories and biblical characters.
• Mar Sabore and Afroth Churches inAkapparambu,located in the outskirts of Ernakulam,possess murals portraying various scenes from the bible.
• Attractively, St. Mary.s Church at Kanjoo,rhas battle scenesof the armies of Tipu Sultan and of the English East India Company, on the both sides of its entrance.
1. For the contemporary art, the canvas is used as a primary material for drawing.
2. The traditional painting brush is made of elephant grass locally called ‘Kuntalipullu’.
3. The first shade of color used in Kerala Mural is yellow.
4 The second shade is followed by red.
5. The colors used on the human figures, depend on the characters and common qualities.
6. The colors are richly painted and brought to live with black outlines.
7. The colorful representation brings a sense of glamour, tranquility and charm to the Kerala murals.
8. Pre-historic stories retold in the murals.
9. The spiritual divine wealth is depicted in shades of green, golden yellow and red. Blue was introduced much later.
10. The order of colouring is firstly yellow, red, green, blue and brown (mixed red and yellow)
11. Striking illustration of Kerala murals.