and historical evidences have proved that fine arts in
Myanmar are as old as its history. The earliest paintings
extant in Myanmar belong to the Bagan Era beginning from the
11th century AD. The paintings at Bagan are executed on the
walls of masonry temples. The theme of the paintings on the
walls of the temples is religious in character and mostly
centers round the Buddha, incident from the life of Buddha
style of the Bagan Paintings show the strong West Indian
influence in the earlier phase and that of the Verendra
school of Bengal and Nepal in the later period. The chief
merit of classical Myanmar painting lies in the movement of
lines. Of the wall paintings of Bagan, those in the temples
of Nandamanya, Phayathonezu, Thambula, and the cave of
Kyansitttha Umin still remain clear and bright.
the temples of late 12th century and 13th century AD, the
art of painting has reached a high level of Myanmarnization.
The influence of Indian faded out imperceptibly and two
branches of art-painting and sculpture took on an indigenous
character in their march toward full development.
the fall of Bagan dynasty, the artistic life went on but
with diminishing vigor. However, when peaceful period were
produced during the late 17th and 18th century AD the
traditional art was revived with the royal patronage from
the later capitals of Ava and Amarapura.
Under the King Mindon (1853 – 1878) reign, Myanmar
artists received official appointments at the court.
Portrait painting began to be popular in this period. U Kya
Nyunt, as a recognized master in this art, won praise from
the people as well as from the poet Achoketan Saya Pe who
lauded him in one of his poems.
Western art made its impact on Myanmar painting beginning
from the 1920s. Two Myanmar artists, U Ba Nyan and U Ba Zaw,
introduced Western techniques into Myanmar paintings, both
in oil and water color, these two pioneers introduced the
Myanmar public to the style of British landscape artists of
the conservative school.