2. SCULPTURES IN INDIAN ART:
The first sculptures in India date back to the Indus Valley
civilization, where stone and bronze carvings have been
This is one of the earliest instances of sculpture in the world.
Later, as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism developed
further, India produced some of the most intricate bronzes in
the world, as well as un rivalled temple carvings.
Some huge shrines, such as the one at Ellora were not
actually constructed using blocks, but instead carved out of
rock, making them perhaps the largest and most intricate
sculptures in the world.
3. During the 2nd to 1st century BCE in far northern India, in
what is now southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan,
sculptures became more explicit, representing episodes of
the Buddha’s 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
This may be because Gandharan Buddhist sculpture in
modern Afghanistan displays Greek and Persian artistic
Artistically, the Gandharan school of sculpture is said to
have contributed wavy hair, drapery covering both
4. The pink sandstone sculptures of Mathura evolved during
the Gupta period (4th to 6th century) to reach a very high
fineness of execution and delicacy in the modelling.
Newer sculptures in Afghanistan, in stucco, schist or clay,
display very strong blending of Indian post-Gupta
mannerism and Classical influence, Hellenistic or possibly
Meanwhile, elsewhere in India, less anatomically accurate
styles of human representation evolved, leading to the
classical art that the world is now familiar with, and
contributing to Buddhist and Hindu sculpture throughout
11. MINIATURE PAINTINGS OF MOGHULS:
Mughal painting is a particular style of South
Asian painting, generally confined to miniatures either as
book illustrations or as single works to be kept in albums,
which emerged from Persian miniature painting, with Indian
Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist influences, and developed during
the period of the Mughal Empire (16th - 19th centuries).
Mughal painting was rich in variety and included portraits,
events and scenes from court life, wild life and hunting
scenes, and illustrations of battles.
Mughal painting developed and flourished during the reigns
of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
13. During the reign of Akbar (1556-1605), the imperial court,
apart from being the centre of administrative authority to
manage and rule the vast Mughal empire, also emerged as
a centre of cultural excellence.
Mughal painting thrived and hundreds of painters created
innumerable paintings depicting scenes from
various Hindu epics including the Ramayana and
the Mahabharata; themes with animal fables; individual
portraits; and paintings on scores of different themes.
Mughal style during this period continued to refine itself with
elements of realism and naturalism coming to the fore.
14. Jahangir (1605-27) had an artistic inclination and during his
reign Mughal painting developed further. Brushwork became
finer and the colors lighter.
Jahangir was also deeply influenced by European painting.
During his reign he came into direct contact with the English
Crown and was sent gifts of oil paintings, which included
portraits of the King and Queen.
He encouraged his royal atelier to take up the single point
perspective favoured by European artists, unlike the
flattened multi-layered style used in traditional miniatures
He particularly encouraged paintings depicting events of his
own life, individual portraits, and studies of birds, flowers
15. The Jahangirnama , written during his lifetime, which is a
biographical account of Jahangir, has several paintings,
including some unusual subjects such as the sexual union
of a saint with a tigress, and fights between spiders.
During the reign of Shah Jahan (1628-58), Mughal
paintings continued to develop, but they gradually
became cold and rigid.
Themes including musical parties; lovers, sometimes in
intimate positions, on terraces and gardens; and ascetics
gathered around a fire, abound in the Mughal paintings of
16. MAJOR ARTISTS:
The Persian master artists Abdus Samad and Mir Sayid Ali, who
had accompanied Humayun to India, were in charge of the
imperial atelier during the early formative stages of Mughal
painting. Mughal painting flourished during the late 16th and early
17th centuries with spectacular works of art by master artists
such as Basawan, Lal, Miskin, Kesu Das, and Daswanth.
Govardhan was a noted painter during the reigns of Akbar,
Jahangir and Shah Jahan.
The sub-imperial school of Mughal painting included artists such
as Mushfiq, Kamal, and Fazl.
During the first half of the 18th century, many Mughal-trained
artists left the imperial workshop to work at Rajput courts. These
include artists such as Bhawanidas and his son Dalchand.
Aurangzeb (1658-1707) did not actively encourage Mughal paintings,
but as this art form had gathered momentum and had a number of
patrons, Mughal paintings continued to survive, but the decline had set
Some sources however note that a few of the best Mughal paintings
were made for Aurangzeb, speculating that the painters may have
realized that he was about to close the workshops and thus exceeded
themselves in his behalf.
A brief revival was noticed during the reign of Muhammad
Shah 'Rangeela' (1719-48), but by the time of Shah Alam II (1759-1806),
the art of Mughal painting had lost its glory.
By that time, other schools of Indian painting had developed, including,
in the royal courts of the Rajput kingdoms of Rajputana, Rajput
painting and in the cities ruled by the British East India Company,
the Company style under Western influence.
19. MODERN MOGHUL ART:
Mughal miniature paintings are still being created today by a small
number of artists in Rajasthan concentrated mainly in Jaipur. Although
many of these miniatures are skillful copies of the originals, some artists
have produced modern works using classic methods to, at times,
remarkable artistic effect.
The skills needed to produce these modern versions of Mughal
miniatures are still passed on from generation to generation, although
many artisans also employ dozens of workers, often painting under
trying working conditions, to produce remarkable works sold under the
signature of their modern masters.
Of the modern Mughal masters recognized by India, the most prominent
remains Rafi Uddin who is the recipient of a large number of artistic
honours from India over the last several decades.
20. His younger brother Saif Uddin, who ghost-painted
for his famous brother for years, has since become
the most recognized modern Mughal painter
straying from traditional Indian scenes into themes
well away from century old traditions with
Other masters in Rajasthan include Kaluram
Panchal, Ram Gopal Vijayvargiya, Ved Pal
Sharma, Kailash Raj, Tilak Gitai, Gopal Kamawat,
Mohammed Usman and Mohammed Luqman,
Kishan Mali Sharma and the Joshi family.
23. Rajasthani Paintings
Rajasthani Painting, is a style of Indian painting,
evolved and flourished during the 18th century in the
royal courts of Rajputana, India, flowing from the style
of Mughal painting, itself derived from the Persian
Each Rajput kingdom evolved a distinct style, but with
certain common features.
Rajput paintings depict a number of themes, events of
epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Krishna’s
life, beautiful landscapes, and humans.
Miniatures in manuscripts or single sheets to be kept in
albums were the preferred medium of Rajput painting,
but many paintings were done on the walls of palaces,
inner chambers of the forts
27. Bas relief
A bas-relief is a projecting image with a shallow overall
depth. The background is very compressed or completely
flat, as on most coins, on which all images are in low
A bas-relief may use any medium or technique of
sculpture, but stone carving and metal casting are the
If more than half of most rounded or cylindrical
elements such as heads and legs project from the
background, a sculpture is usually considered to be alto
rilievo or "high relief", although the degree of relief within
both types may vary across a composition, with
prominent features such as faces in higher relief.
A mural is any piece of artwork painted
directly on a wall, ceiling or other large
Murals are important in that they bring art
into the public sphere. Due to the size, cost,
and work involved in creating a mural,
muralists must often be commissioned by a
38. The murals on the ceiling of the Devasiriya mandapa of the
39. A mural on the wall of a temple at Lepakshi near Anantapur in Andhra
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by
shaping or combining hard materials - typically stone -
or marble, metal, glass, or wood. Softer ("plastic") materials
can also be used, such as clay, textiles,
plastics, polymers and softer metals.
The temple architecture of the South Indian is very
different from the temple architecture of the rest of India.
The temple building activity of the South India can be
divided three periods corresponding to the main kingdoms,
which ruled the South India for the centuries
41. South Indian Temple Sculptures
The features of Chola sculptures will remind one of the
Dravidian art and sculpture. In fact it was the Chola
rulers who properly developed this style.
One of the main features of Chola architectures are
the hugeness of the structures, especially the temples.
Granite was widely used for the construction.
Important features of the Chola temples are the lofty
shikharas, square bases, ornamented gopurams,
sculpted walls outer and inner walls and others.
42. Carved miniature images of gods and goddesses are found in
the recesses of the temple walls. This is a common feature of
Chola sculptures. Carving out various images of deities, floral
sculptures, etc were widely used to adorn the colossal Chola
An instance of the finest Chola architecture is the
Brihadeswara or Rajarajeswara Temple in Tanjore. The
principal deity in this temple is Lord Shiva. Besides the temple
walls the gopurams are also decorated with exquisite sculpture
Religion was a key influence as far as the Chola art and
architectures were concerned. It was during their reign that the
construction of the gopuram or gateway came into vogue. The
gopurams were often quite high but these were vividly sculpted
with different god and goddesses.
45. Pallava sculptures
Pallava Sculptures for the first time introduced the use of
rock in Indian architecture.
The Pallava sculptures came into being from the 4th to 9th
centuries. It was during the Pallava reign that the rock cut
architecture flourished. The earliest specimens of Pallava art
and architecture date back to the 610-690 AD.
The other temples, on the other hand, were constructed
from 690-900 AD. In fact the rock cut caves also came into
vogue during the Pallava Empire.
The features of Pallava Sculptures include intricate
carvings. Mammoth images were carved out of stone so that
the buildings can be dedicated to the deities.
46. The Hindu epics were a popular source from which
the artisans derived their subjects. These were then
retold through the stone sculptures.
The sculpture of Mamallapuram is a fine
instance of the Pallava sculptures. The Shore
Temple stands tall even today to relate the
brilliance of the local craftsmanship.
Another outstanding piece of art that was carved
out of stone during the Pallava reign is the
sculpture of Kailasanatha Temple.
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the
identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of
The word iconography literally means "image writing“.
Religious images are used to some extent by all major religions,
including both Indian and Abrahamic faiths, and often contain
Central to the iconography of Indian religions are mudra or
gestures with specific meanings.
The symbolic use of colour to denote the Classical
Elements or Mahabhuta and letters and bija syllables from
sacred alphabetic scripts are other features.
Under the influence of tantra art developed esoteric meanings,
accessible only to initiates; this is an especially strong feature
of Tibetan art.
57. SOUTH INDIAN BRONZE ICONOGRAPHY:
Each Hindu God sculpture is a one-
of-a-kind piece, created by the
artisans of Southern India who have
been perfecting the art of the lost
wax method of bronze casting for