Maroth Art of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is famed for its art and culture, the temples, forts and palaces of Rajasthan are ornamented with the unique art form and paintings. Maroth art is not only known for fine art but also famous for sculpture making, carving and architectural work. The art form of gold plated painting and enameling of craved cut glasses is a magnificent blend of Jaipur, Rajputana and Persian with Mughal art.
The most unique example of this art form is Amber Sheesh Mahal situated at Pink City Jaipur. The palace is beautified with enameling of numerous cut glasses. Without electricity or sparkle of a single candle glitter the entire palace with light, shine and reflection of innumerable candle beam give a spectacular feel. Likewise Samod Palace, Ajmer Jain Temple, Ram Chandra Temple of Badnagar (Gujrat) are the other few examples of the art form.
Traditional Maroth Art
Traditional Maroth art flourished in the village Maroth, 120 km away from Jaipur. In 16th Century, these artists came to Maroth Village from Sikar, Rajasthan on the invitation of King Raghunath Singh and eventually got settled here permanently. The first master craftsman of the art form was Laxman Singh Kumawat. He had started working in the year 1606 Century with his specialized technique in painting, carving and decorating temples with gold plated work especially the royal palaces.
Later his son Jai Kishan Kumawat got trained in this unique art. During that period the Jains sect got fascinated toward the art of the gold plated painting. The Jain Manuscripts were brought to Maroth for repainting with the gold plated work. To experience the fine detailing in manuscripts Jai Kishan Kumawat was sent to Kuchaman. This is the turning point and gave a vision to Kumawat clan. Later, the kumawat’s fully devoted themselves to serve the Jain and Jain temples.
A golden period started in 1706 Century when a foreign tourist from Iran visited Amber in Jaipur and met the artisans of Maroth. He was highly impressed with the art that afterward he specialized the artists of Maroth in the technique of cut glass. This is the stage when the Kumawat’s learnt the fine cutting and use of cut glass technique. The artists especially Ramlal Kumawat got famous with their outstanding and beautiful work of cutting the transparent glasses and styling them in various unique designs. Gradually, the art was recognized and famed not only in Rajasthan but also other parts of India like Assam, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and many other states.
Since last 3 decades Subhash Kumawat Toandwal, one of the decedents of Kumawat clan and son of famous freedom fighter and painter artist of Maroth, Ghisalal Kumawat Toandwal is giving new directions and contemporary move toward the classic Maroth Art.
Subhash Kumawat was a well qualified civil engineer however followed the footsteps of his father and chosen the family profession of sculpture making, carving and painting. In 1996 the 15 member team of Subhash Kumawat with his son Anil got the privilege to be selected for artistic decoration of Akal Takhat in Golden Temple of Amritsar.
Subhash Kumawat and his sons are giving new facets to the veteran and traditional art of Maroth with their etemal and contemporary practices. The well qualified younger generation of Kumawat clan adopting the legacy of traditional Maroth art as their line of business to prosper the veteran art worldwide.
- Various articles by Anubha Agarwal