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Ancient Indian Art

  • Date Submitted: 11/13/2011 08:42 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.9 
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Ancient Indian Art

Art in India has been inspired by spiritualism and mystical relationship between man and god.   Indian art relied heavily on religious scriptures to draw inspiration. Since there was no restriction, they flourished under the patronage of rulers. Their art has survived the ravages of time and have a unique place in historical records. The purpose of art in ancient India was not just to adorn the walls. Each painting had a story to narrate. Visually ancient Indian art was colorful, aesthetic and appealing to the eye. Good art symbolized the prosperity of many empires in ancient India. Most of the art was produced to promote religious activities. Art was an extension of their tribute and respect to the knowledgeable class. It is no surprise that most of the artwork of Hindu kings depicts scenes from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata and other mythological stories which continue to inspire artists even now. Some of the most important pieces of art in India are the Sanchi Stupa, the Sarnath Lion, the Chola Sculptures, and the Goddess paintings of Kali, Saraswati, and Lakshmi.
The 'Great Stupa' or Sanchi Stupa, is the oldest stone structure in India. It was originally commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE. Its nucleus was a simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. It was crowned by the chatra, a parasol-like structure symbolizing high rank, which was intended to honor and shelter the relics. The Stupa is not a building in any traditional sense. Once a burial or reliquary mound, the Stupa has become a purely symbolic object. It became a symbol of Buddha’s final release from the cycle of birth and rebirth. The Stupa is also a cosmic symbol. Its hemispherical shape represents the world egg. Stupas commonly rest on a square pedestal and are carefully aligned with the four cardinal points of the compass. The exquisite carvings on these Stupas depict a world where humans and animals live in...


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