Intricately Glazed Beauty: Meenakari Art

  • Team Mojarto

The word ‘Meenakari’ is derived from the Persian word ‘minoo’ which refers to the azure colour of heaven.  It was introduced by the Mughals in India, during the 16th century. Minakari (meenakari) art is popular for its patterns and figures. Birds and animals in a floral background are quite popular in this art form. Widely accepted Mughal colours like white, green, red and blue are seen extensively in the paintings. This intricate craftsmanship artform was practised by artisans called the ‘meenakars’.

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The art of meenakari is a style of enamelling and decorating metal and tile with mina glaze. Mina glaze is done in highly luminous colours. Meenakari art is considered to be one of the most intricate metal decorations in the country.

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Image courtesy: By Interesting009 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Meenakari artworks are quite famously seen in jewellery and decorative items. The metal surface is coloured and decorated with intricate details. Different mineral substances are then fused over the surface. The metal is first set up on a lac stick, this holds the metal piece better. Then detailed designs of flowers and geometrical patterns are etched on the background. This creates pocket-like structures to hold colour. The pockets are then filled with enamel dust and each colour is fired individually. The dust becomes a liquid and it coves the etched place. This creates an enamelled pattern.

The Jaipur and Udaipur have become the important centres for the 16th-century art form to flourish in India. Today meenakari art is quite popularly done on gold and silver jewellery.