Bikaner Miniature artist Mahaveer Swami

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On one of the evenings in Bikaner we visited the workshop of Mahaveer Swami, a renowned miniature artist in the region. Mr. Swami has been practicing this form of art work for decades now and has exhibited his work across the world, including Paris, Japan and Hong Kong.

This post attempts to introduce you to the concept of miniature arts and show some of Swami's sample works, accolades and related details, based on whatever limited knowledge and exposure I got on this topic during our visit.

Miniature art is not about drawing art in small sizes. It a form of detailed and specialty art work usually created using unconventional substances (not just paint and canvas). Miniature art takes much longer time and more detailed attention to details.

Below is a scene of Godhooli muhurtha (evening time when sun sets and cows return home)
Below are the materials Mr Swami uses for colouring- some are everyday items like grains, few are specialty materials like stones, sands, mud, plantation and so on. These are grind into powder and used as colour over the miniature artwork.
Below is a series of paintings Mr Swami made in France. He said he and his team went for a walk in the woods, returned home with unique plants they could find, use that as an inspiration and draw them on the canvas.

My photographs are unable to do justice to the detailing involved in the art. Swami's miniature art is best enjoyed with a magnifying glass that brings to life all the minute details in the art. We had great time taking a look at many of his work, through the glass. Swami has given exhibitions in various countries around the world.



There're no two pieces that are same. Each are unique and hand made. Mr. Swami said the time he would take is usually few days to few weeks, depending on size, complexity etc. He works out of his workshop near his home and in his spare time he also teaches this art to a group of students who are interested in this this. You can check Mr Swami's website here for more details.

Miniature art gallery at Narendra Bhawan, Bikaner
We are also told that Narendra Bhawan Bikaner has commissioned Mr Swami to set up an exclusive miniature art gallery inside the Narendra Bhawan campus. Mr. Swami would be creating an exclusive set of artworks for display in the gallery.

Apparently there are few more miniature artists in Bikaner with name Swami- such as Raju Swami.Overall an hour or two we spent at Mr Swami's workshop opened us to a whole new world of art.

Technology enabled Apps like Prisma are sort of killing real artists. With computer's ability to generate art instantly or with minimal effort, the time and effort put in by real artists goes unappreciated. Hope people like Mahaveer Swami will be able to keep the tradition alive and pass it on to the next generation.

Similar: A painter and his mission * Art Gallery of New South Wales * I AM Bali- Interactive art museum, Bali * Cholamandalam Art Village, Chennai *

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