Indian art

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Indian art consists of a variety of art forms, including plastic arts (e.g., pottery sculpture), visual arts (e.g., paintings), and textile arts (e.g., woven silk).


Quotes[edit]

  • Indian Art demands of the artist the power of communion with the soul of things, the sense of spiritual taking precedence of the sense of material beauty, and fidelity to the deeper vision within...
    • Sri Aurobindo, Ghose, A., Nahar, S., & Institut de recherches évolutives. (2000). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de recherches évolutives.
  • I have, however, mentioned [in The Foundations of Indian Culture] that Islamic culture contributed the Indo-Saracenic architecture to Indian culture. I do not think it has done anything more in India of cultural value. It gave some new forms to art and poetry. Its political institutions were always semi-barbaric.
    • Sri Aurobindo, Ghose, A., Nahar, S., & Institut de recherches évolutives. (2000). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de recherches évolutives.
  • We shall never be able to do justice to Indian art, for ignorance and fanaticism have destroyed its greatest achievements, and have half ruined the rest. At Elephanta the Portuguese certified their piety by smashing statuary and bas-reliefs in unrestrained barbarity; and almost everywhere in the north the Moslems brought to the ground those triumphs of Indian architecture, of the fifth and sixth centuries, which tradition ranks as far superior to the later works that arouse our wonder and admiration today. The Moslems decapitated statues, and tore them limb from limb; they appropriated for their mosques, and in great measure imitated, the graceful pillars of the Jain temples. Time and fanaticism joined in the destruction, for the orthodox Hindus abandoned and neglected temples that had been profaned by the touch of alien hands.
  • We may guess at the lost grandeur of north Indian architecture by the powerful edifices that still survive in the south, where Moslem rule entered only in minor degree, and after some habituation to India had softened Mohammedan hatred of Hindu ways. Further, the great age of temple architecture in the south came in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, after Akbar had tamed the Moslems and taught them some appreciation of Indian art. Consequently the south is rich in temples, usually superior to those that remain standing in the north, and more massive and impressive; Fcrgusson counted some thirty "Dravidian" or southern temples any one of which, in his estimate, must have cost as much as an English cathedral.
  • Before Indian art, as before every phase of Indian civilization, we stand in humble wonder at its age and its continuity.
  • But we cannot judge these works in their original form from what survives of them today; and doubtless there are clues to their appreciation that are not revealed to alien souls. Even the Occidental, however, can admire the nobility of the subject, the majestic scope of the plan, the unity of the composition, the clearness, simplicity and decisiveness of the line, and among many details the astonishing perfection of that bane of all artists, the hands. Imagination can picture the artist-priest who prayed in these cells and perhaps painted these walls and ceilings with fond and pious art while Europe lay buried in her early-medieval darkness. Here at Ajanta religious devotion fused architecture, sculpture and painting into a happy unity, and produced one of the sovereign monuments of Hindu art.
  • Sages such as Sri Aurobindo who have meditated on Hindu iconography, and savants such as Ananda Coomara-swamy, Stella Kramrisch, and Alice Boner who have studied the subject, assure us that the forms and features of Hindu icons have a source higher than the normal reaches of the human mind. The icons are no photocopies of any human or animal forms as we find them in their physical frames. They are in fact crystallizations of the abstract into the concrete, of the infinite into the finite. They always point beyond themselves, and a contemplation of them always draws us from the outer to the inner.Hindu Šilpašãstras lay down not only technical formulas for carving holy icons in stone, and metal, and other materials. They also lay down elaborate rules about how the artist is to fast, and pray, and otherwise purify himself for long periods before he is permitted, if at all, to have a psychic image of the God or Goddess whom he wants to incarnate in a physical form. It is this sublime source of the Šilpašãstras which alone can explain a Sarnath Buddha, or a Chidambram NaTarãja, or a Vidisha Varãha, to name only a few of the large assembly of divine images inhabiting the earth. It is because this sublime source is not accessible to modern sculptors that we have to be content with poor copies which look like parodies of the original marvels.
    • S.R. Goel, Defence of Hindu Society, Chapter 5
  • The Hindu architects produced buildings incomparably more rich and interesting as works of art. I have not visited Southern India, where, it is said, the finest specimen of Hindu architecture are to be found. But I have seen enough of the art in Rajputana to convince me of its enormous superiority to any work of the Mohammedans. The temples at Chitor, for example, are specimens of true classicism.
    • Aldous Huxley, quoted in : On Hinduism Reviews and Reflections - By Ram Swarup p.161-165

External links[edit]

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