Mural Paintings of Kerala India

By: Dev Sri

Mural paintings are the valued treasures of Kerala. These fresco paintings are classified as 'Frecco-secco'. The paintings are done on walls that are completely dry and a lime medium is used. It originated from the Dravidian art of Kalamezhuthu. This traditional painting has a history back from 9th to 12th century A.D.

White, yellow, black, red are the pure colors to be used as per 'Shilparatna'. Ocher yellow, Ocher red, white, bluish green and pure green are the primary colors in Murals.

The dyes for its preparation are made out of vegetables, chemicals etc.

&bullWhite - from lime
&bullBlack- carbon soot of lamps
&bullRed and yellow- minerals
&bullBlue- indigo ferra
&bullDeep red- lac

A fine coating of resin is done after the painting in order to make a shining appearance. Flat, medium and fine types of brushes are used to paint the colors. The colors are mixed in wooden utensils. The foundation is done with dung cryons and then the paintings are done.

Hindu temples also hold murals on the themes derived from the religious texts. The Kanthaloor temple and the Trivikramapuram at Thiruvananthapuram, Ajanad at Idukki have the oldest frescos in Kerala. some other places with murals are- Thiruvanchikulam (Kerala's own tradition of murals), temples at Vaikom, Ettumanoor, Thrikkodithaanam and Sri Padmanabha Swamy Temple Thiruvananthapuram.

The churches in Kerala also display many murals on Christian themes. Some of them are churches at Mulanthuruthy, Chepad, Edappalli and Vechur.

The unique works of Kerala frescos provide an excellent architectural style. The deep study of it will provide one with valuable information about the art and culture of Kerala. The murals that concentrate only on icons give an incomparable beauty to it.

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