- The literal meaning of Kalamkari is a painting done by kalam (pen).
- This art got enriched as it came down from one generation to another.
- These paintings are made in Andhra Pradesh.
- It is hand painted as well as block printing with vegetable dyes applied on cloth.
- Vegetable dyes are used for colour in the Kalam Kari work.
- A small place Sri-Kalahasti is the best known centre of Kalamkari art.
- This work is also found at Masaulipatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
- This art is mainly related to decorating temple interiors with painted clothpanels, which was developed in the fifteenth century under the patronage of Vijaynagar rulers.
- Subjects are adopted from the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and Hindu religious mythology.
- This art form is a continuous legacy from father to son.
- After deciding the subject of the painting, scène after scene is painted.
- Every scene is surrounded by floral decorative patterns.
- These paintings are made on cloth. They are very durable and flexible in size and made according to theme.
- Figures of deities have a very rich border embellishments and were created for the temples.
- Owing to Muslim rulers in Golconda,the Masulipatnam kalamkari was widely influenced by Persian motifs and designs.
- The outlines and main features are done using hand carved blocks.
- The finer details are later done using the pen.
- This art was started on garments, bed covers and curtains. The artists use a bamboo or date palm stick pointed at one end with a bundle of fine hair attached tothe other end to serve as brush or pen.
- The kalamkari dyes are obtained by extracting colours from plant roots, leaves, along with salts of iron, tin, copper, alum etc.
STYLES OF KALAMKARI PAINTINGS
1 . Masulipatnam Kalamkari
Owing to Muslim rule in Golconda, the Masulipatnam Kalamkari was influenced by Persian motifs & designs, widely adapted to suit their taste. The outlines and main features are done using hand carved blocks. The finer details are later done using the pen.
2 . Sri Kalahasti Style
The Kalahasti tradition which developed in the temple region mostly concentrated on themes form Hindu mythology, epics (Ramayana, Mahabharatha), images of Gods and heroes.
3 . Karrupur Style
Karrupur is a style of Kalamkari that developed in the Thanjavur region during the Maratha rule. The Kalamkari work was a further embellishment to the gold brocade work in the woven fabric, which was used as sarees & dhotis by the royal family during the period of Raja Sarfoji and later Raja Shivaji.