Intro to Art of India

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Information about Intro to Art of India

Published on December 6, 2013

Author: PaigePrater



A brief introduction into some of the iconic architecture and artwork in India stemming from buddhist, hindu, and islamic traditions.

Art of India T, R, 12-1:50PM Professor Paige Prater

Mapping it!

Religious Traditions in India • Buddhism – Buddha’s teaching (563-483 BCE) – life’s difficulties>enlightenment>nirvana • Hinduism – karma, reincarnation, polytheistic; liberation from samsara (cycle of life and death) – – – – Vishnu Shiva Devi Brahma

Overview of Artistic Styles • Indian art: elaborate decoration/human body; sensual

Art of India • Buddhist and Hindu Great Stupa, third century BCE, enlarged under the Sunga and Andhra Dynasties, c. 150– 50 BCE, Sanchi, India

Detail of East gate at Great Stupa, 3rd Century BCE • Pilgrims: east gate, clockwise • Stupas/gateways (toranas)= recreation of the universe in a 3D mandala pattern. • 35’ columns • Scenes of Buddha’s multiple lives (jatakas)

Four Buddhas • a8o

Bodhisattva Padmapani, Cave 1, Ajanta, India. Cave painting, second half of 5th century • 29 caves carved into a horse-shoe-shaped cliff in Ajanta (western India) • Buddhist sculptures/paintings • Lotus • Bodhissatva – one who achieved nirvana but voluntarily stays to help others reach enlightenment

Indian Art: Hinduism • 3rd largest world religion; most followers in India • Large temple complex in northern India • Dedicated to Shiva, Hindu god of creation and destruction Kandariya Mahadeva temple, c. 1000, Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India

Detail of exterior sculpture, Kandariya Mahadeva temple • More than 600 sculptures • Sensual • Unity of male/female represents unity of cosmos

Indian Art: ISLAM • Mid-16th century, Mughals took over India (Mongolian descent, Muslim), ruled hundreds of years – Jahangir, “World Conqueror” (1569-1627) – Shah Jahan, (1592-1666) and wife, Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631) • Sufism • Commissioned artworks – Persian – Indian

Bichitr, Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaykh to Kings, from the St. Petersburg album, Mughal Dynasty, c. 1615–18. Opaque watercolor, gold, and ink on paper, 18⅞ 13”. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C

Taj Mahal, 1631-1648, Agra, India • White marble inscribed; reflects the sun • Dome: 58’ diameter, 213’ tall

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