Examples of ancient Indian paintings can be found in frescoes in caves and in miniature paintings preserved in some palm leave documents and religious writings. Indian paintings came into their own under Mughal period, the Mughal rulers were great patrons of art. The colonial period saw the influence of Western art and some of the Indian Paintings of that era clearly show Western influence. The contemporary Indian art is influenced by many schools of painting prevalent in the Western world as well as the traditional painting
The story of Indian paintings goes back a long time back in the ancient era, though not many examples of this period have survived the ravages of time, what has come down in the shape of frescoes and miniature paintings in the religious books show that Indian painting has a remarkable beginning. The larger than life frescoes in the caves show the excellent craftsmanship of the unknown painters and though the colors have faded with time they still show a rich palette of colors used by these artists. The medieval period saw the emergence of Mughal influence on painting. Mughal rulers were influenced by Persian miniature paintings, which used rich hues and precious metals like gold and silver to outline the figures. The Indian paintings were deeply influenced by the Persian miniature art and some of the pieces, now preserved in the Western museum show unique mastery of color. Rajasthan miniature adopted the miniature art to paint the pictures of gods, particularly Radha and Krishna.
Indian painting in the contemporary era is influenced by many cultures, genre and style. Indian artists draw on their traditional background to paint unique masterpieces. It will take many books to describe the growth of Indian art from ancient to modern time.