Sculpture in the Indian Subcontinent

Last Updated: 15 Apr 2021
Pages: 4 Views: 434

The first known sculpture in the Indian subcontinent is from the Indus Valley civilization (3300-1700 SC), found in sites at Enjoy-dare and Harp in modern-day Pakistan. These include the famous small bronze female dancer. However such figures in bronze and stone are rare and greatly outnumbered by pottery figurines and stone seals, often of animals or deities very finely depicted.

After the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization there is little record of sculpture until the Buddhist era, apart from a hoard of copper figures of (somewhat controversially) c. 1500 BCC from Diamond. Thus the great tradition of Indian monumental sculpture in stone appears to begin relatively late, with the reign of Soak from 270 to 232 BCC, and he Pillars of Shook he erected around India, carrying his edicts and topped by famous sculptures of animals, mostly lions, of which six survive. Large amounts of figurative sculpture, mostly in relief, survive from Early Buddhist pilgrimage status, above all Ashcan; these probably developed out of a tradition using wood that also embraced Hinduism.

During the 2nd to 1st century BCC in far northern India, in the Greece-Buddhist art of Kandahar from what is now southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, sculptures became more explicit, representing episodes of the Buddha life and teachings. Although India had a long sculptural tradition and a mastery of rich iconography, the Buddha was never represented in human form before this time, but only through some of his symbols. This may be because Ghanaian Buddhist sculpture in modern Afghanistan displays Greek and Persian artistic influence.

Order custom essay Sculpture in the Indian Subcontinent with free plagiarism report

feat icon 450+ experts on 30 subjects feat icon Starting from 3 hours delivery
Get Essay Help

Artistically, the Ghanaian school of sculpture is said to have contributed wax. Y hair, drapery covering both shoulders, shoes and sandals, acanthus leaf decorations, etc. The pink sandstone Hindu, Gain and Buddhist sculptures of Mature from the 1st to 3rd centuries CE fleeted both native Indian traditions and the Western influences received through the Greece-Buddhist art of Kandahar, and effectively established the basis for subsequent Indian religious sculpture.

The style was developed and diffused through most of India under the Guppy Empire (c. Which remains a "classical" period for Indian sculpture, covering the earlier Lealer Caves, though the Elephant Caves are probably slightly later. 6] Later large scale sculpture remains almost exclusively religious, and generally rather conservative, often reverting to simple frontal standing poses for deities, though the attendant spirits such as papayas and yaks often have sensuously curving poses. Carving is often highly detailed, with an intricate backing behind the main figure in high relief. The celebrated bronzes of the Chula dynasty (c. 850-1250) Portsmouth India, many designed to be carried in processions, include the iconic form of Shiva as Natural, with the massive granite carvings of Manipulator dating from the previous Papilla dynasty.

Some aspects of Greek art were adopted while others did not spread beyond the Greece- Buddhist area; in particular the standing figure, often with a relaxed pose and one leg flexed, and the flying cupids or victories, who became popular across Asia as papayas. Greek foliage decoration was also influential, with Indian versions of the Corinthian capital appearing. The origins of Greece-Buddhist art are to be found in the Hellenic Greece-Bacteria kingdom (250 BCC - 130 BCC), located in today's Afghanistan, from which Hellenic culture radiated into the Indian subcontinent with the establishment of the small Indo-Greek kingdom (180 BCC-II BCC).

Under the Indo-Greeks and then the Khans, the interaction of Greek and Buddhist culture flourished in the area of Kandahar, in today's northern Pakistan, before spreading further into India, influencing the art of Mature, and then the Hindu art of the Guppy empire, which was to extend to the rest of South-East Asia. The influence of Greece-Buddhist art also spread northward towards Central Asia, strongly affecting the art of the Atari Basin and the Dunging Caves, and ultimately the sculpted figure in China, Korea, and Japan.

As the sculptures of India Journeyed various eras and witnessed various dynasties, there is a vast variety seen among them in terms of styles and materials used. Sculptures of the Indus Valley The story of Indian art and sculpture dates back to the Indus valley civilization of the 2nd and 3rd millennium BC. Tiny terra-cotta seals discovered from the valley reveal carvings of appeal leaves, deities and animals. These elemental shapes of stones or seals were enshrined and worshipped by the people of the civilization. Two other objects that were excavated from the ruins of the Indus valley indicate the level of achievement that Indian art had attained in those days. The bust of a priest in limestone and a bronze dancing girl show tremendous sophistication and artistry.

In the 1st century AD, the position changed somewhat radically in art and sculpture. The human figure replaced the symbolic representation of Buddha and his teachings. Though Buddha opposed the idea of idol worship, his cult image was established and became essential for acts of worship. The Mature and the Kandahar schools of sculpture imparted human form to Buddha image. To emphasis his divinity, this human form was depicted with features like a halo around the head, the drachma's engraved upon his palms and soles of his feet, and the lion throne representing his royal ancestry. These early stone images of Buddha are awe-inspiring in terms of size and magnificence.

The link between dance, drama, literature and art became crucial to aesthetic expressionism in centuries to come. This new era in art and sculpture witnessed a unique fusion, a synthesis embodied in the caves at Junta and Lealer and the temples of central and South India. Located north-east of Bombay, near Arranged, Junta and Lealer are two astonishing series of temples ca centuries. Khartoum out of living rock over the course of fourteen The tranquil town of Khartoum, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh boasts of the best medieval temples in India, known all over the world for their erotic sculptures. These glorious temples are the state's most famous attraction.

Amid green lawns and brilliant pink flowers is a complex of temples, glowing with the armor of sandstone and ornamented with the sinuous curves of sculpture unparalleled in their beauty. Out of the 85 temples built originally, only 22 survive today. These temples were created by the Candela rulers in the Indo-Aryan style. Elephant Caves The most profound aspect of the mighty Shiva is in evidence at the Shiva temple in the Elephant caves. Situated near Bombay, these caves present an introduction to some most exquisitely carved temples. One can witness a symphony in stone in praise of Lord Shiva, created by Indian's expert stone carvers of the sixth century.

Cite this Page

Sculpture in the Indian Subcontinent. (2017, Dec 31). Retrieved from

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Run a free check or have your essay done for you

plagiarism ruin image

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer