History of paintings can be traced back to more than thousand years.
The pictorial art form, though in its primitive stage, existed in Kerala
right from the Mesolithic period. Rock pictures found in Edkkal caves
of Wayanad District are that of pictures of household articles and
dancing men with masks, which were drawn during that period. As the
art form was divinely originated, it is seen mainly in temples. The
murals of the temples of Kerala are excellent specimens of artistic
talents. The murals of Kanthaloor Temple in Thiruvananthapuram (drawn in
13th Century), Pisharikavu and Kaliliampath in Kozhikode drawn in 14th
Century are the oldest temple wall paintings. Ramayana murals of
Mattanchery palace, the paintings in the Chemmanthitta Siva Temple,
Kudamaloor and Thodeekkalam in Kannur district, wall paintings at
Panayannarkavu, Kottakkal, Padmanabhapuram and Krishnapuram palaces and
those in the inner chambers of Mattanchery palace are the best examples
of medieval mural paintings. Kalamezuthu a type of pictorial art also
originated as a part of temple ritual. Many Churches of Kerala have
Edakkal cave,Rock pictures at Edakkal cave
Ravi Verma is one of the outstanding names in the art of painting in
Kerala. K.C.S Panikar, Madhava Menon, M.V. Devan are a few names to
mention in the field.
Raja Ravi Varma
Paintings of Ravivarma
Paintings of KCS Panicker
stone sculptures in Kerala were intended as an ornamental part of an
architectural project. Therefore it was decided by the standards and
requirement of the temples or other structures. The early sculptors were
talented artists who created new and original sculptures in stone.
Temple architecture is an amalgamation of engineering and decorative
arts. Mouldings, sculptures and painting form three decorative elements
of the Kerala temples. Two types of sculptural work are there. One
category is the low
relief work on the outer walls and the timber
sculpture. Metal craft was also used for moulding idols, ornamentation
Kerala, the earliest specimens of sculptures in stone are those found
in the cave temple at Kaviyoor, which was built in the 8th Century A.D.
The rock-cut reliefs of Vizhinjam, sculptures of the ancient Vishnu
temple at Thrikkodithanam, dwara palakas (guards) and Ananthasayanam
sculpture in the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram are
the best examples of stone sculptures.