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Indian art

Indian Art is the art produced

on the Indian subcontinent from about the 3rd millennium BC to modern times. To
viewers schooled in the Western tradition, Indian art may seem overly ornate and
sensuous; appreciation of its refinement comes only gradually, as a rule.
Voluptuous feeling is given unusually free expression in Indian culture. A
strong sense of design is also characteristic of Indian art and can be observed
in its modern as well as in its traditional forms.

The vast scope of the art of India intertwines with the cultural history,
religions and philosophies which place art production and patronage in social
and cultural contexts.

Indian art can be classified into specific periods each reflecting particular
religious, political and cultural developments.

  • Ancient period (3500 BCE-1200 CE)
  • Islamic ascendancy (1192-1757)
  • Colonial period (1757–1947)
  • Independence and the postcolonial period

A visual timeline of the evolution of Indian art. [1]

The Indian period is unique in its art, literature and architecture. Indian art
is constantly challenged as it rises to the peak of achieving the ideals of one
philosophy in a visual form, then begins anew for another. This challenge and
revolution in thought provides, Indian artists with reasons forinnovation and
creation, and the process of visualizing abstract ideas and the culture of the

Each religion and philosophical system provided its own nuances, vast metaphors
and similes, rich associations, wild imaginations, humanization of gods and
celestial beings, characterization of people, the single purpose and ideal of
life to be interpreted in art.


The Sun Temple in Konark

The earliest Indian religion to inspire major artistic monuments was Buddhism.
Though there may have been earlier structures in wood that have been transformed
into stone structures, there are no physical evidences for these except textual
references. Obscurity shrouds the period between the decline of the Harappans and
the definite historic period starting with the Mauryas.
Soon after the Buddhists initiated the rock-cut caves, Hindus and Jains started
to imitate them at Badami, Aihole,Ellora, Salsette, Elephanta, Aurangabad and Mamallapuram.

Indian rock art has continuously evolved, since the first rock cut caves, to
suit different purposes, social and religious contexts, and regional


The tradition and methods of Indian cliff painting gradually evolved throughout
many thousands of years – there are found multiple locations with prehistoric
art. The oldest frescoes of historical period have been preserved in Ajanta
from 2nd century BC. In
total there are known more than 20 locations in India with paintings and traces
of former paintings of ancient and early medieval times (up to 8th – 10th
century AD)[1].
The most significant frescoes of ancient and early medieval period are located
in Ajanta Caves, Bagh
, Ellora

Chola Fresco of Dancing girls. Brihadisvara Temple c. 1100 C.E.

The Chola fresco
paintings were discovered in 1931 within the circumambulatory passage of theBrihadisvara
in India and
are the first Chola specimens discovered.

Researchers have discovered the technique used in these frescoes. A smooth
batter of limestone mixture is applied over the stones, which took two to three
days to set. Within that short span, such large paintings were painted with
natural organic pigments.

During the Nayak period
the chola paintings were painted over. The Chola frescoes lying underneath have
an ardent spirit of saivism is
expressed in them. They probably synchronised with the completion of the temple
by Rajaraja Cholan the Great.

has well preserved fresco or mural or wall
in temple walls in
Pundarikapuram,Ettumanoor and Aymanam.

and tribal art

Jataka tales
from the Ajanta caves

Folk and tribal art in India takes on different manifestations through varied
medium such as pottery, painting, metalwork, paper-art, weaving and designing of
objects such as jewelry and toys.

Often puranic gods
and legends are transformed into contemporary forms and familiar images. Fairs,
festivals, and local deities play a vital role in these arts.

It is in art where life and creativity are inseparable. The tribal arts have a
unique sensitivity, as the tribal people possess an intense awareness very
different from the settled and urbanized people. Their minds are supple and
intense with myth, legends, snippets from epic, multitudinous gods born out of
dream and fantasy. Their art is an expression of their life and holds their
passion and mystery.

Folk art also includes the visual expressions of the wandering nomads. This is
the art of people who are exposed to changing landscapes as they travel over the
valleys and highlands of India. They carry with them the experiences and
memories of different spaces and their art consists of the transient and dynamic
pattern of life. The rural, tribal and
arts of the nomads constitute
the matrix of folk expression.

The Taj
built by the Mughals.

The folk spirit has a tremendous role to play in the development of art and in
the overall consciousness of indigenous cultures. The [[Taj michael jackson
first deccovered indian art

Mahal]], the Ajanta and Ellora caves have become world famous. The Taj Mahal is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.


British colonial rule had a great impact on Indian art. The old patrons of art
became less wealthy and influential, and Western art more ubiquitous. Rabindranath
, referred as the father of Modern
Indian art
had introduced Asian
styles and Avant garde western styles into Indian Art. Many other artists like Jamini
and later S.H.
had taken inspiration from folk

In 1947 India became independent of British rule. A group of six artists – K. H.
Ara, S. K. Bakre, H. A. Gade, M.F.
, S.H.
Newton Souza
– founded the
Progressive Artist’s Group, to establish new ways of expressing India in the
post-colonial era. Though the group was dissolved in 1956, it was profoundly
influential in changing the idiom of Indian art. Almost all India’s major
artists in the 1950s were associated with the group. Some of those who are
well-known today are Bal Chabda, V. S. Gaitonde, Krishen Khanna, Ram
, Devender
, Akbar Padamsee, John
, Himmat Shah and Manjit Bawa. Present-day Indian art is varied as it
had been never before. Among the best-known artists of the newer generation
include Sanjay
, Bose
, Narayanan
, Geeta
, Devajyoti
, Satish
, and Bikash
. Another prominent Pakistani modernist was Ismail
, who after about 1960 adopted an abstract idiom that combines aspects
of Islamic
with an abstract
) sensibility.

Sneha-village belle, Oil on canvas byJohn
(Indian artist)


From the 1990s onwards, Indian artists began to increase the forms they used in
their work. Painting and sculpture remained important, though in the work of
leading artists such as Subodh Gupta,Narayanan Ramachandran, Vivan Sundaram,
Jitish Kallat, chiman dangiJagannath Panda, Atul and Anju Dodiya, Devajyoti
, Shakunthala Kulkarni, Vagaram Choudhary, Surekha, Bhupat Dudi,
T.V.Santosh, Bharti Kher and Thukral and Tagra, they often found radical new

Crucially, however, in a complex time when the number of currents affecting
Indian society seemed to multiply, many artists sought out new, more polyvocal
and immersive forms of expression. Ranbir Kaleka, Raqs
Media Collective
[2] have
produced compelling contemporary works using such assortments of media forms
including video and internet.Narayanan Ramachandran [3] created
a new style of painting called Third Eye Series. This development coincided with
the emergence of new galleries interested in promoting a wider range of art
forms, such as Nature Morte in Delhi and its partner gallery Bose
Pacia Gallery
(New York and
Kolkata) and Sakshi Gallery, Chatterjee and Lal, and Project 88 (
in Mumbai. In addition, Talwar Gallery in New Delhi, India and New York, NY,
represents a roster of diverse, internationally recognized artists from India
and the Diaspora maintaining that the artist is geographically located and not
the art ( In the UK, in April 2006, The
Noble Sage Art Gallery opened
to specialise exclusively in Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistani contemporary art.
The Noble Sage, rather than looking to the Mumbai, Delhi and Baroda schools, saw
their gallery as an opportunity to platform the South Indian contemporary art
scene, particularly the work arising from the Madras School. Artists highlighted
by The Noble Sage collection include the late K.M.
, A.P.
and S.
, senior artists Achuthan
, Alphonso
and R.B.
, through to new talent such as Benitha
, S.
Ravi Shankar
, P.
and T.

At the same, ironically, the absence of gallery or white cube support for newer
ventures, produced a lot of artists who were connected to the Bangalore art
scene(like Surekha’s “Communing With Urban Heroins” (2008) and “Un-Claimed and
Other Urban F(r)ictions”, 2010) and those who produced a sense of art-community
or art-activism in a certain sense.

Contemporary Indian art takes influence from all over the world. With many
Indian artists immigrating to the west, art for some artists has been a form of
expression merging their past with their current in western culture.

Also, the increase in the discourse about Indian art, in English as well as
vernacular Indian languages, appropriated the way art was perceived in the art
schools. Critical approach became rigorous, critics like Geeta Kapur, Shivaji K.
Panikkar, Parul Dave Mukherji, R. Siva Kumar, Gayathri Sinha, Anil Kumar H.A and
Suresh Jayaram, amongst others, contributed to re-thinking contemporary art
practice in India. The last decade or so has also witnessed an increase in Art
magazines like Art India (from Bombay), Art & Deal (New Delhi, edited and
published by Siddharth Tagore), ‘Art Etc.’ (from Emami Chisel, edited by Amit
Mukhopadhyay) complementing the catalogues produced by the respective galleries.


, one of the most well-known Indian musical instruments

The music of India includes
multiple varieties of folk, popular, pop,
and classical
. India’s
classical music
tradition, including Carnatic and Hindustani
, has a history spanning millennia and, developed over several eras,
remains fundamental to the lives of Indians today as sources of religious
inspiration, cultural expression and pure entertainment. India is made up of
several dozen ethnic
, speaking their ownlanguages and dialects.
Alongside distinctly subcontinental forms
there are major influences from Persian,Arabic and British
.Indian genres like filmi and bhangra have
become popular throughout the United
, South and East




  • Harsha V. Dehejia, The
    Advaita of Art
    Motilal Banarsidass, 2000, ISBN
    ), p. 97
  • Kapila Vatsyayan, Classical
    Indian Dance in Literature and the Arts
    Delhi: Sangeet Natak Akademi, 1977), p. 8
  • Mitter, Partha. Indian
    (Oxford: Oxford
    University Press, 2001, ISBN

From Wikipedia as on July 2010

Category: Asian Art  Comments off
Asia Art

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paintings on tile of guardian spirits donned in Chinese
, from the Han
BC – 220 AD)

Asian art can refer to art amongst
many cultures in Asia.

types of Asian art

Han Dynasty
BC – 220 AD) paintedceramic
a female servant and male advisor in Chinese
silk robes



Category: Asian Art  Comments off