This post requires some explanation. First, miniature paintings, as a style of Indian art, aren’t necessarily small (though they can be.) Rather, the “miniature” refers to use of fine detail and the use very fine brushwork. (Sometimes involving one hair-width brushwork.)
The historical basis of all these paintings in Udaipur was that they used to be used to adorn houses involved with weddings. Not only did they lend festive decor, but they also made it easier to find the right house.
enshrouded in cloud,
a Chinese painting transplanted to India,
gnarled evergreens grow from cracked granite
like the bonsai that twists into a broad bloom of foliage,
i’d have thought the great white space, simple shapes, and gorgeous deformity
wouldn’t appeal to the Indian mindset —
so taken with vibrancy and fullness,
and yet crowds throng round,
staring in wonder,
ensnared by the same scene as
Shen Zhou when he painted, “Poet on a Mountaintop”
Fan Kuan as he painted, “Travelers Among Mountains and Streams,”
like two lovers fixated on one moon.