With the decline of the Chola dynasty in the 13th century, the Vijayanagara dynasty captured and brought under its control the reign from Hampi to Trichy with Hampi serving as its capital.
The paintings at Tiruparakunram, near Trichy, done in the 14th century represent the early phase of the Vijayanagara style. In Hampi (Karnataka), the Virupaksha temple has paintings on the ceiling of its mandapa narrating vents from dynastic history and episodes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Among the important panels are the one which shows Vidyaranya, the spiritual teacher of Bukkaraya Harsha. In Lepakshi, near Hindupur, in present Andhra Pradesh, there are glorious examples of Vijayanagara paintings on the walls of the Shiva temple.
The stylistic conventions of the proceeding centuries were adopted by artists in various centres in south India as can be seen in the paintings of the Nayaka period. Nayaka paintings in the 17th and 18th centuries are seen in Thiruparakuram, Sreerangam, and Tiruvarur (all in Tamil Nadu). In Tiruparakunram, paintings are found of two different periods – of the 14th and 17th Earlier paintings depict scenes from the life of Vardhamana Mahavira. The Nayaka paintings depict episodes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana and also scenes from Krishna Leela. In Tiruvarur, there is a panel narrating the story of Machukunda.
In the Srikrishna temple at Ehengam in Arcot District there are 26 panels narrating the story of the Ramayana, which represents the late phase of the Nayaka paintings. From the examples, it suggests that Nayaka paintings were more or less an extension of Vijayanagara style with minor regional modifications and incorporations. The figures are mostly set against a flat background and the male figures are shown with slim waist but with less heavy abdomen as compared to those in Vijayanagara.
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