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  3. Glimpses of the Lost World of Alchi
  4. Sculpture and Bronze Images from Kashmir |

What is MDS? LibraryThing's MDS system is based on the classification work of libraries around the world, whose assignments are not copyrightable. MDS "scheduldes" the words that describe the numbers are user-added, and based on public domain editions of the system. Wordings, which are entered by members, can only come from public domain sources.

Where useful or necessary, wording comes from the edition of the Dewey Decimal System. Language and concepts may be changed to fit modern tastes, or to better describe books cataloged. Indian art is a wholesome, youthful and delicate art, a blend of symbolism and reality, spirituality and sensuality. Indian art may well be said to bear in itself the greatest lesson an exemplary continuity from pre-historic times to the present age, together with an exceptional coherence.

We said earlier that Indian art was inspired by religion, for India is the birth place of three of the world's great religions Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and these three faiths have inspired most of our Indian art. We use the word 'most' purposely for the simple reason that not all Indian art is religious. The Indian artist was a man of this universe, he lived here, looked around himself, saw the joys and sorrows of the life and reproduced them in whatever medium he happened to be working in at a given time; clay, wood, paper, metal or stone.

The creation of art by the Indian artists are not "realistic" representations in the sense we understand the term on Greek or Roman Art but they are imagined and are idealised.


None had actually seen the major gods like Rama, Krishna, Vishnu and Shiva, etc. In form, the males are virile beings broad shouldered, deep chested and narrow hipped. The females are precisely contrary to the males narrow shouldered, having full and fir breasts, and attenuated waist and' broad hips. The females according to the Indian artists represent Matri or the mother. In the course of this guide book we proposed to keep the hum form as the peg on which to hang our story and will venture to see the hum body treated by different periods according to the changing styles - the like and dislike of a particular age.


Indian art is a treasure house of ancient contemporary life, its faiths and beliefs, customs and manners. It is considered by some to be the function or purpose of art of any age to mirror contemporary society, its customs, manners, habits, modes of dress and ornamentation etc. Painting is one of the most delicate forms of art giving expression to human thoughts and feelings through the media of line and colour.

Many thousands of years before the dawn of history, when man was only a cave dweller, he painted his rock shelters to satisfy his aesthetic sensitivity and creative urge.

Glimpses of the Lost World of Alchi

Among Indians, the love of colour and design is so deeply ingrained that from the earliest times they created paintings and drawings even during the periods of history for which we have no direct evidence. The earliest examples of miniature painting in India exist in the form of illustrations to the religious texts on Buddhism executed under the Palas of the eastern India and the Jain texts executed in western India during the 11thth centuries A. When the robe covers the left shoulder alone, a single triangular-shaped panel is formed.

In the case of a seated image, the same rules apply, apart from the lower part of the garment, where the treatment shows a similar set pattern. Here the Buddha stands on the stamen of a multilayered lotus, which rests on a molded pedestal, as in many examples of this period. However, a wide variety of pedestals is found for the seated Buddha most frequently depicted in teaching mode or earth-touching mode , ranging from an openwork-type with elaborate cushion, supported by columns, lions and leogrypths a composite, mythical animal and a seated yaksha; to an even more complex design of a rocky landscape, animals, and deities.

The most outstanding example of Kashmirian bronze Buddhist sculpture is undoubtedly the elaborate composition of the Buddha seated on a stylized mountain with attendants, now in the Norton Simon collection. Many of the more elaborate compositions such as this would have had aureoles, some depicting the various events in the life of the Buddha. A Maradharshana stone group with the Buddha assailed by his daughter Mara and a pair of demons, closely modeled on a Sarnath original, found just outside the confines of the valley and now in the National Museum, New Delhi , has an inscription and date in the year 5, equivalent to a.

Ancient Indian Architecture Part I

This sculpture, with the Buddha seated on an hourglass pedestal on a rocky podium accompanied by a diminutive Earth Goddess and a mysterious kneeling male figure plucking a stringed instrument , has many of the features of some of the elaborate bronze groups inscribed with the names of the Patola Shahi rulers, which date from around this time; this demonstrates that the full repertoire of design of these so-called Gilgit bronzes was known in Kashmir, and that the sculptures were almost certainly cast by Kashmirian artists. Many stone sculptures of Brahmanical subjects in Classical style have survived in the valley, mostly fragmentary, of which many are three-headed, a feature peculiar to Kashmir.

These were either carved with an integral stepped and molded pedestal, or mounted separately on such a pedestal, usually spouted to the right to drain off libations. These were placed in shrines or set in the niches of the peristyle that enclosed the courtyard of most temples. The most outstanding sculpture in the style is undoubtedly the majestic, richly ornamented three-headed Vishnu, holding his attributes, the lotus and the conch, which must date from the seventh century. It is now in the museum in Srinagar.

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All the new features of the style can be seen in this image, including the distinctive facial type described above. The pose is now a gentle contraposto, with one foot placed slightly forward, which is common to all depictions of Brahmanical deities with the exception of Surya, and the Buddhist deities Maitreya and Avalokiteshvara. The dhoti is of standard form, and the complex pattern of pleated zigzag folds seen on the Buddha's robe appear on the open edge of the garment, with a characteristic fan-shaped collection of folds below the belt.

The multistranded sacred thread now falls to the thigh, and the floral garland is of imbricated leaf pattern design. Among the sumptuous jewelry is a diadem formed of three horned crescents containing foliate designs, a more elaborate alternative to the triangular form, which survives from the previous style.

The style underwent a brief revival in the mid-ninth century during the reign of Avantivarman r. However, though they show new vigor, much stylization has crept in, and the facial features are hardened.

Sculpture and Bronze Images from Kashmir |

The earlier complex patterning of the open edge of the lower garment and the foliate design of the crown is crudely interpreted, and the headdress is out of proportion to the head. Two iconographical changes are evident: the sacred thread is now triple-stranded, and a reverse Kapila angry head is added to three-headed images of Vishnu.

Sculptures from the Shiva temples erected at Patan by his successor Samkaravarman r. The most important sculpture of the ninth century and one of the largest known castings of the medieval period in India is the almost 6. This period is one of pronounced influence on the sculpture of Chamba and adjacent hill regions, and the famous bronze four-headed Vishnu from the Hari Rai temple in Chamba town is closely modeled on the Kashmir type.

The tenth century was a time of political turbulence, economic decline, and increasing isolation, from which the kingdom never really recovered. A silver inlaid bronze of a six-armed Avalokiteshvara group, dated in the reign of Queen Didda in , shows a marked decline in the style.

Though local demand declined, there was a ready market for stock images of the Buddha from Tibet in the following two centuries.

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A group of stone sculptures found at Verinag, attributable to the twelfth century, demonstrates that the style had greatly degenerated by that time, but little remains in Kashmir of the intervening period. Barrett, D. Pal, Pratapaditya. Bronzes of Kashmir. New York : Hacker, Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago , Sahni, D. Siudmak, John.