Painted Rock Shelter in Murghazar Sub Valley of Swat

Badsha Sardar


The art of painting is the expression of ideas and emotions, with the creation of certain aesthetic qualities in a two dimensions. It is an application of colour, pigment or paint to a surface. The painting shapes, lines, colours, tones and textures are used in various ways to produce sensations of volume, space, movement and light on a flat surface. These elements are combined into expressive patterns in order to represents real or supernatural phenomena, to interpret a narrative theme, or to create wholly abstract visual relationships. The artist communicates his visual message in terms of the qualities and expressive possibilities and limitations of a particular medium technique and form.

Painting is an art which originated in prehistoric times. The Palaeolithic artist covered the surfaces of caves and rock’s shelters with richly coloured with lifelike birds and mammoths. The paintings of the Neolithic period show a trend to severe geometric designs. Paintings can be found in the caves and shelters of the nomadic hunters. Recently the claim of Upper Palaeolithic paintings is made in Tor Ghar area of Loralai and Sulaiman Ranges of Zhob District in  Baluchistan province  of Pakistan (Kakar 2005: 21-25). At Tor Ghar 20 rock shelters, while in Sulaiman Range 27 rock shelters of paintings were reported in said province of Pakistan. The subject matter of the paintings is fighting and hunting scenes. They represent animals and human painted in red and black on the undressed surfaces of rock-shelters. A few animals are shown in triangular form, rendering the body by two triangles at one corner. This method is typical for the Neolithic and early Bronze Age periods and is commonly used in the rock-engravings of the Upper Indus Valley (Nasim Khan 2000:2).

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