Sikh Art- Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji

Sikh art developed around middle of nineteenth century. It has  borrowed extensively from Hindu and Muslim traditions and art forms but depicted them in their own way and in a new setting. Not much research has been done on this highly developed form of art which has its own class. I know of very few references and one PhD thesis on the art work of Sri Harmandar Saheb Ji. But i could not find a copy of even this thesis for study, as it has not been published yet.

The decorations which fall  in the category of mural painting are floral patterns interspersed with animal motifs. The  painters (naqquash) of these patterns had developed a terminology of their own to distinguish various designs. Among these the most prominent is known by the name of ‘Dehin’.

‘Dehin’ is a medium of expression of the imaginative study of the artist’s own creation of idealised forms. Gharwanjh is the base of Dehin. This is also a decorative device involving knotted grapples between animals. In the Golden Temple are seen Gharwanjh showing cobras, lions and elephants clutching one another, carrying flower vases in which fruits and fairies (/angels) have been depicted. Patta is a decorative border design used around the Dehin and often depicted through creepers. There are also compositions based on aquatic creatures.

Just a few of the examples of Dehin style are shown in the following pictures from the walls of Sri Darbar Saheb Ji:



One reference to this art form comes from Lahore in Pakistan, which can be seen on Wiki:


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