Born in 1953, into a renowned family of artists in Nathdwara, who have been practicing miniature painting for generations, Lalit Sharma studied under his father Ghanshyam Sharma. He went on to complete a master's degree in drawing and painting at Udaipur University in 1975 and participated in a number of exhibitions and shows both in India and abroad. Today, he is one of the country's most well-known miniature painters. Sharma's paintings usually follow a series dedicated to specific subjects - the palaces and havelis, streets and landscapes of Rajasthan. His use of oils as a medium enables him to extend the miniature painting style to larger scale works on canvas.
Lalit Sharma's son, Kapil, the sixth-generation of artists in the family, is trained as a graphic artist. Animating Picchwai paintings, Kapil enhances the aesthetic and sensuous pleasure of the painted surfaces with movement, narrative, and sound. Fusing his longstanding interest in the literary and painterly conventions of Nathdwara miniatures with his other passion, documenting the city's built fabric, Kapil's work recontextualises the narratives of the Nathdwara miniatures within intricately mapped urbanscapes, hoping to make the miniature tradition thus presented in a contemporary manner, more accessible to the public.
The work 'Mumbai once Bombay' uses the continuous narrative technique employed by Lalit Sharma in his miniatures: "Sometimes you have a sequence of say a tiger being shot at in a hunting scene. So the painters would show the tiger three times in the same painting at different stages of the hunt."
Adapting to this collaborative 'fusion style' came easier to Kapil than to his father: " have grown up around the art of grandfather and my father; one can see the adaptation and change in the work of each generation. It's not easy to make the transition though. My father and I have been spending hours arguing and discussing the stylization. He was resistant to certain elements initially because they did not seem to be in sync with his style, which relies on simple geometric forms but now he's really taken to experimenting."