Genuine Gond Paintings & Famous Gond Artworks
Gond Paintings gets its name from The Gond tribe who are masters of this form. They are mostly made in Madhya Pradesh but you’ll also find them in some corners of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Chattisgarh. The Gond tribe is India’s largest Adivasi community and their artistic finesse is a treat for the eyes and soul! The specialty of this form lies in its usage of small dots and delicate lines to instill a sense of movement in the paintings.
Coming from one of the largest tribal groups in the country ‒ Gond ‒ Gond painting is a playful take on lines and colors, skillfully painted by adivasis from different parts of India like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Bihar. Influenced by folktales and Gond mythology, Gond art was primitively done on walls and floors which eventually found their way to other mediums as well. Gond is derived from the word ‘Kond’ which means ‘the green mountain’. Every Gond art ever made has a close, sacred relationship with nature and hence, most of the Gond paintings focus on aspects of nature – animals, birds, trees, rivers, and mountains. The spirituality of the Gond people is profoundly linked to these elements and by painting these natural elements they bring in good luck and show their gratitude towards nature. Famous Gond art is meticulously done using dots and lines, almost merging into one another; these dots and lines together portray the daily life of Gond people and their beliefs related to the social, religious, sacred, and the natural world.
Gond people, also known as Gondi people, are the biggest tribal group in India. They identify as adivasis who are spread over a number of states but they’re mostly concentrated in the South region. Their ancestry goes back to the pre-Aryan era and given their large presence all over the country, they’re known by other names as well – Koi, Koyathor, Gondas, or Koitur. The tribal roots of Gond painting can be traced back to the Mesolithic period when cave painting was a frequently occurring practice and a way of life for the people. Gond art can be considered as a continuation of the same practice by drawing on walls and floors. As is customary, men and women have been painting the walls and floors of their homes for ages and in many regions, it is practiced to date. This very custom is also carried out by the Gond people. Gond painting is also considered to be an extension of local art which was also practiced by Gondi people, known as Dighna or Digna art. The resemblance between the motifs, use of lines, and dots of Gond art and Digna art are very uncanny. Digna art was made during festivals and auspicious occasions like marriage, birth, sowing of crops, etc. Hence, it is believed that Gond art is a modern adaptation of Digna art and the similarities between the religious beliefs and practices of both the arts can be considered as an influence on each other.
The journey of Gond painting began in the 1980s when the now-famous Pardhan Gonds started this narrative art of storytelling by using visuals of Gond paintings. Gond art is also famously known as Pardhan Gond Art or Pardhan Gond painting. Pardhan Gonds, former priests, were known for their extreme artistic skills and began the use of different mediums and colors like canvases, acrylic paints, etc. The narratives initiated by the Pardhans were related to sacred beliefs, religion, and folk mythology of the Gond people. By advancing Gond Paintings to a newer and broader platform, it gradually shifted from mud walls and floors to other mediums like canvas, and today, Gond paintings can be spotted everywhere and anywhere. Not only do these paintings raise the authenticity of spaces, but they also remind people of the exceptional creativity that grows out of the Gond community. Even disconnected from the modern world, they still have a huge impact on the world of art and culture.
Gond artists believe every aspect of nature to be sacred; their manifestation of nature is shown in these Gond paintings where they draw trees, animals, birds, rivers, and hills. According to their beliefs, looking at these images can bring good luck and fortune, and hence, these are religiously painted by Gond people for various occasions as a form of respect. Apart from different environmental aspects that are explored by Gond artists, they also take inspiration from local folklores, Gond mythology, and various legends spread across the country. As artists, they do not restrict themselves from creating Gond paintings which are an extension of their beliefs and imagination. In today’s contemporary world of paintings, Gond art has made a significant impact by broadening their paintings to various subjects and even dwelling into abstract paintings.
Gond paintings are made of radiant, vivid, and eye-catching colors. Gond paintings are made by outlining the images, without any prior rough sketching, and then these are slowly filled in with dots, lines, dash circles, and even crosses. Gond paintings stand out because of their creative use of dots and lines which makes the image come to life. The clever use of dots and lines instils a sense of movement in the painting. Like all other folk arts, Gond art begun with the use of natural color and tools. Basic colors like white, red, blue, yellow, and green were sourced from natural elements like charcoal, plants, soils, hibiscus flowers, and many more. Gond art has come a very long way – from being traditionally painted on walls and floors of houses to be displayed in museums and being used as a piece of decorative art all around the world. This transition is the hard work of all the Gond artists who have finessed their skills and put utmost faith into its worldwide expansion. But some famous Gond paintings have been attributed to the works of Jangarh Singh Shyam who is considered as one of the first famous Gond artists to have transferred Gond paintings to canvas and paper. Jangarh Singh Shyam was the discovery of a highly acclaimed painter, J. Swaminathan; a seventeen-year-old Jangarh Singh was found painting the huts of Patangarh, Madhya Pradesh by Swaminathan. From here onwards, Jangarh Singh became diligent towards teaching the art of Gond painting to his future generations – his heartfelt efforts to not let the art die. After his demise, this art has also been carried forward by the family of Shyam’s. Jangarh Singh Shyam’s work can be spotted in Bhopal’s Bharat Bhavan whose main dome has been painted by him and is considered a sacred place for Pardhan Gond artists.
Our collection of famous Gond painting rightly reflects the talent of Gond artists, these paintings depict animals, birds, and trees ‒ all auspicious motifs of the Gond tribe which bring in good fortune. The Peacock Gond paintings depict peacocks in a variety of colors and poses; each and every painting has a different look to it while peacocks are majestically shown in vibrant colors. The Deer Gond painting shows a pair of deer flanked by a beautiful peacock while the Lion Gond painting shows the lion as envisaged by the Gond tribe, carefully done with dots and lines, with a long spine and imperially seated in the lap of nature.