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Home > History of Sculpture
History of Indian Sculptures
Any form of art in India, it may be an architecture, a sculpture or crafts have an origin in the history of civilization process. The finest example of this ancient times originated art is the 3rd millennium Great baths of Mohenjodaro of Indus Valley civilization.

khajuraho Though it is found that Hindu temples are constructed with varied sizes, all temples shows a typical pyramidal spire crowning at the top. Such crowing can be seen in the Deccan temples of Kanchipuram, Madurai, Srirangam and Rameswaram and Varanasi in the North of India. The Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh and Sun temple of Konark in Orissa are an example of excellent sculptures of India. Many of these temples are showing various carved figurines of deities on their exteriors and in some cases in interiors. Sanchi stupa has fabulous sculptures dating from the 4th century before the arrival of Christ. All these sculptures depict scenes from Buddha`s life and various folk deities respected among the people.

Buddhist monks are considered as the most notable creation in rock-cut architecture form of sculpture. One more example to illustrate their work is the temple constructed at Mammallapuram. Mauryan stone sculpture is at its best in the Lion Capital at the Sarnath in India. The architectural sculptures of Amaravati and Nagarjunakonda explain & illustrate about the social life of contemporary people and life of Buddha. The Hindu cave architecture is found at its zenith in Elephanta caves near Mumbai and Hindu and Jain rock temples of Ellora, especially the Kailasa temple constructed in the 8th century. The evidences of the Indian art creation of the past prove that Indian sculpture once was ranked one of the highest in the entire world. A characteristic of Indian sculpture is that it is primarily realistic in nature and the human forms appear in it more closely related with the surrounding. Flora and fauna has also found its presence in sculptures of India along with the innumerable respected deities. Indian art and sculptures are marked with the differences that make it stand apart from the sculpture from the rest of the world.

elloraAs it is found that the lively traditions of Indian sculptures date back to the 3rd century BC. It was during the time of first Indian Empire the Maurya dynasty. Most Probably, the art of carving found its origin in this period. This period is marked by the birth of sculptures. It is said that sculpture begins to gain characters and scenes from the stories from contemporary India. Mostly of three interconnected religions - Hinduism, Buddhism & Jainism.

The presentation of these sculptural forms were frontal, as though the figures are posing for facing the camera. In the beginning, along with the other themes, there are examples of most abiding images from art of Hindus - magnificent young lady, nude, full-breasted, and often in some strikingly athletic pose as seen in the famous temples of Khajuraho, of about the 11th century AD. Occasionally these women are just female attendants, but more often they are characters in legendary stories.

In the period of early centuries, art of Hindus and Buddhists seems to be fall in the same tradition as per the appearance & theme. The example for this can be the magnificent Buddhist carvings on the Great Stupa at Sanchi, looks like a piece of art of Hindus only. But Buddhist sculptures are marked with a distinct character of its own as the religion move outwards i. e. from India to the northwest countries.

From the 1st century AD, there is a development of strong school of Buddhist sculpture in northwest countries. GanddharaThey are popularly known by the ancient people of Gandhara. This region is quite susceptible to foreign influences arriving from many ways. One of such great influence is from the west of the Roman and Greek realism to the art. In Gandhara region, sculpture of the area realism is subtly combined with the local traditions of India in order to produce the Buddhist images. Elegantly classical kinds of images of Buddha are of this type.
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