Indian sculpture


Indian sculpture

▪ Asian arts
 the sculptural traditions, forms, and styles of the civilizations of the Indian subcontinent.

      A brief treatment of Indian sculpture follows. For full treatment, see South Asian arts: Indian sculpture (South Asian arts).

      Sculpture was the favoured medium of artistic expression on the Indian subcontinent. Indian buildings were profusely adorned with it and indeed are often inseparable from it. The subject matter of Indian sculpture was almost invariably abstracted human forms that were used to instruct people in the truths of the Hindu, Buddhist, or Jain religions. The nude was used both to represent the body as a symbol of spirit and to reveal the imagined shapes of the gods. There is an almost complete suppression of individuality in Indian sculpture; this is because the figures are conceived of as shapes that are more perfect and final than anything to be found in the merely transitory appearance of human models. The multiple heads and arms of sculptured Hindu divinities were thought necessary to display the manifold attributes of these gods' power.

      The tradition of Indian sculpture extends from the Indus Valley civilization of 2500 to 1800 BC, during which time small terra cotta figurines were produced. The great circular stone pillars and carved lions of the Maurya period (3rd century BC) gave way to mature Indian figurative sculpture in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, in which Hindu and Buddhist themes were already well-established. A wide range of styles and traditions subsequently flourished in different parts of India over the succeeding centuries, but by the 9th–10th centuries AD, Indian sculpture had reached a form that has lasted with little change up to the present day. This sculpture is distinguished not by a sense of plastic volume and fullness but rather by its linear character; the figure is conceived from the standpoint of its outline, and the figure itself is graceful, slender, and has supple limbs. From the 10th century this sculpture was used mainly as a part of architectural decoration, with vast numbers of relatively small figures of mediocre quality being produced for this purpose.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Contemporary Indian Sculpture — Directed by Buddhadev Dasgupta Produced by Buddhadev Dasgupta Written by Buddhadev Dasgupta Release date(s) …   Wikipedia

  • sculpture — sculptural, adj. sculpturally, adv. /skulp cheuhr/, n., v., sculptured, sculpturing. n. 1. the art of carving, modeling, welding, or otherwise producing figurative or abstract works of art in three dimensions, as in relief, intaglio, or in the… …   Universalium

  • Sculpture — Sculptor redirects here. For the constellation, see Sculptor (constellation). For other uses, see Sculpture (disambiguation). The Dying Gaul, a Roman marble copy of a Hellenistic work of the late 3rd century BCE Capitoline Museums, Rome …   Wikipedia

  • Sculpture — • In the widest sense of the term, sculpture is the art of representing in bodily form men, animals, and other objects in stone, bronze, ivory, clay and similar materials Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Sculpture     Sculpture …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Indian rock-cut architecture — is more various and found in greater abundance than any other form of rock cut architecture around the world. [cite web url=http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?groupid=1527 HistoryID=ab27 title=History of Architecture Early …   Wikipedia

  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay — Motto ज्ञानं परमं ध्येयम् (jñānaṁ paramaṁ dhyeyam) (Sanskrit) Motto in English Knowledge is the Supreme Goal Estab …   Wikipedia

  • Indian aesthetics — Indian art evolved with an emphasis on inducing special spiritual or philosophical states in the audience, or with representing them symbolically. Contents 1 Rasa theory 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Experience of rasa (rasAnubhava) …   Wikipedia

  • Sculpture of the United States — The history of sculpture in the United States reflects the country s 18th century foundation in Roman republican civic values as well as Protestant Christianity.Decorative artThe art of the silversmith reflected the spiritual values of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Indian natural history — Natural history in India has a long heritage with a recorded history going back to the Vedas. This article explores the history and people involved in this endeavour, with natural history being restricted to the broad fields of paleontology,… …   Wikipedia

  • Indian art — The vast scope of the art of India intertwines with the cultural history, religions and philosophies which place art production and patronage in social and cultural contexts.Indian art can be classified into specific periods each reflecting… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.