Pal Art

Read in detail about Pal Art. Pal Art is also known as Pal School of Art and Pal Style. This style of Art is mainly developed under the dynasty of Pal and Sen of Bihar & Bengal.

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Introduction of Pal Art

This style developed between 500 to 1300 AD under the patronage of the then Pal and Sena dynasty kings of Bihar and Bengal. Pal style evolved in 5 forms- architecture, sculpture, terracotta, painting, and mural paintings. However, Hinduism and mainly by Buddhism influenced this art. In this style, the pictures evolved from two types – 1. Mural paintings, 2. Manuscript. This art was extended to Bihar, Bengal as well as Nepal.

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Historic background

After the reign of King Harsh of Bengal, the rule of that system remained chaotic for almost 100 years. As a result, in 730- 740 AD, the people of it rebelled. After that, the people of Bengal chose a person named Gopal as their king. King Gopal had established his kingdom to south Bihar. King Gopal was the first ruler of the Pala dynasty.

After Raja Gopal, his son Dharmapala became the king who established Vikramshila University in Bhagalpur. Raja Dharmapala made to begin painting in his state.

After King Dharmapala, his son Devpal became the king who expanded the state. After Devpal, his son Mahipal became the king. Some scholars believed that King Mahipal’s time was the best for the Pal Style. All these Kings were the followers of Lord Buddha.

Pal Pothis Or Manuscripts

Pala style pictures are found in the pavilions of the Mahayana sect wrote in Bengal, Bihar, and Nepal. Generally, these have been depicted on both sides of the tracks.

These pothis have been written on good quality green leaves. It has wooden backs on both sides. The size of these papers is 22.25 “X 2.5”.

On these letters, the Devanagari script is written in letters on both sides beautifully. In the middle, the pictures of Mahayana Deities, Buddha characters, and Divine Buddha are painted on square space.

Tibetan historian Lama Taranath has considered Dhiman and the Vittapal as the founder of Pal style or painting. Infect, some people say Dhiman and Vittapal were the chief artists of this genre too.

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Found Pothies

In the illustrated Pal Pothis, Prajnaparamita, Mantamala, Panchashikha, Gandhavih, and Karandevguha Mahayana Bodhi Pothi have been found.

Cambridge University Library has still kept preserved some painted papers.

Pal Style Features

  • Pictures of this genre have been found in the panties, which are small in size
  • In this style, gentle and carnivorous shapes have been made in the Ajanta tradition. Lines and expressions are also the same. The Artists of Pal Art also occasionally painted the horrific shapes of the Mahayana sect.
  • Infect, one can see the paranoid style of Ajanta style in Pal style. The style of the Bhitth (Mural) paintings had decreased in quality. While the shapes limited within themselves.
  • Human figures have long noses, which are going beyond the cheek borders and the eyes have been made large and nearby. The heads of the shapes are flat.
  • The artist of this style often used the boundary lines of the shapes. It appears that the nib or some hard textbook has been used in place of the tulika(Brush).
  • In this genre, the green leaves of good quality have been used in the potholes by drying in the shade and wood pots were used on both sides of the potholes.
  • The artists of this style mainly used in red, blue, white, and black colors in the painting. Somewhere, they also used pink, purple, and gray colors made from basic colors.


Pal style is primarily the style of illustrated pothis or manuscripts. Mainly, Buddhism influenced the Pal Style of Art. However, this art had also extended in Bihar, Bengal, and Nepal, which had the protection of Pal and Sen kings. In contrast, it was also believed that this is probably the “Naga style” that Tibetan historian Lama Taranath had mentioned.

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