Ancient Burmese art was influenced by India and was often religious in nature. The Bagan period saw significant developments in many art forms from wall paintings and sculptures to stucco and wood carving.] After a dearth of surviving art between the 14th and 16th century, artists created paintings and sculptures that reflect the Burmese culture. Burmese artists have been subjected to government interference and censorship, hindering the development of art in Myanmar. Burmese art reflects the central Buddhist elements including the mudra, Jataka tales, the pagoda, and Bodhisattva.

There is significantly more extant art from the Bagan Kingdom onwards. Most notable are the wall paintings and statues decorating the interior of temples in Bagan. Sculpture was also very prominent in the period.

After the Mongol invasions of Burma and the subsequent decline of Bagan as a cultural center led to three centuries of warfare and internal division. Art produced in the rise of Burmese kingdoms were often plundered, destroyed or burnt especially when rival kingdoms came to surpass them in power. There is, therefore, significantly less art from the 14th to 16th centuries.

The early 19th century saw many prints made by British officers in the country, making sketches of the countryside during their time in the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826).

Burmese European-style painting reached its heights in the early twentieth century from the opening of many art schools and increased travel by Burmese artists to Europe. 20th century painters like Saya Chone, Saya Myo and Saya Saw, painted watercolours depicting aristocratic life. Oil painting also became very popular towards the end of British rule in Burma. The founding father of Mynamar’s modern art movement, Ba Nyan, was called the greatest name in Burmese modern painting for his oil paintings.

Mandalay became a site of artistic importance, giving rise to the Mandalay School. Artists of the Mandalay School, like Ba Kyi, created a distinctive Burmese neo-traditional style. Artists like Bagyi Aung Soe and Kin Maung painted using impressionism, cubism and experimental techniques in combination with Burmese traditional art.

Artists Include:

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Myint Oo

Ngwe Aung Myanmar

Ngwe Aung


Kyee Mint Zaw Self Portrait

Maung Win Cho - Artist - Myanmar

Maung Win Cho

Min Wae Aung - Artist Myanmar

Min Wae Aung

Zaw Win Pe - Artist - Myanmar

Zaw Win Pe

Artists – Myanmar - Than Kyaw Htay

Than Kyaw Htay