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Panchi (Painting)


The history of Myanmar's painting can be traced back to pre-historic times. Stone age paintings have been discovered in Padalin cave, in the Shan State. Nine wall paintings, and brown-colored sketches were found there.

The 11th century Bagan mural paintings have strong Indian influence and floral patterns are the main elements of the paintings. The Bagan period artists excelled in line drawing, and popular techniques included fresco, oil painting and tempera painting. Most of the paintings depict the 550 Jatakas (Buddha stories).

Inwa paintings began depicting the social life of the people, and only red and green paints were mainly used in the murals.

In early Konebaung era (17th century), the paintings marked the transition from Myanmar traditional flat painting to western styles of perspective and tones. Blue colour was generously used and the paintings recorded the lifestyles, entertainment and scene of that era.

In the Yadanabone era western style painting began to penetrate, but traditional line sketches remained intact.

During the colonial era western styles and modern techniques were introduced and became popular. Contemporary art also flourished in the 20th century, and now Myanmar contemporary art is mainly impressionistic.

In ancient times palm leaf painting and parchment painting flourished. Some of these paintings can be found intact in some pagodas and monasteries and at the National Museum of Myanmar.