Camel Paintings have been a part of desert cultures since times immemorial. The camel is after all known as the "ship of the desert." In the past two thousand years, camel caravans have transported goods and ferried people through deserts.
Associated with aristocratic power and pursuits, the camel was a subject often seen on the courtly fine arts of the Umayyad caliphate and Ta'ifa monarchies. There are beautiful engravings of camel riders dating back to 4th Century A.D. on the walls of Samarqand too.
Paintings involving camels are a favorite topic of Rajasthani artists. Paintings of the legendary lovers like Dhola-Maru dominate the paintings of the Marwar region. Most camel Paintings of Rajasthan are of the Miniature variety
The Rajput School was characterized by a vast variety of themes. The literature of the Bhakti cult (a revolutionary religious cult movement) seems to be the primary source of inspiration of these paintings but paintings of outdoors specially lovers riding camels and depiction of war scenes were also popular. The emphasis was on the emotions of love. Rajput painters mainly used vegetable and mineral dyes. The striking use of yellow and blue in these paintings is noteworthy.
Camel paintings evoke images of arid deserts and make you yearn for the sublime experience that these harsh yet ethereal landscapes offer. Camels are symbols of sustenance and tolerance. They triumph over the harshest conditions. They are truly the embodiment of the spirit of endurance. The ship of the desert is indeed its most successful mascot.