Religion is a way of life in India, a philosophy, for some tourists it is a mystery, but one that the Indians themselves take at face value. Not many of them submit to the religious dogma with which, for example, the Brahmins dominated people for a long time. And yet they believe in karma (shiksal), which also does not allow one to accept life as it comes. After all, it is important to live in the right way to earn points for better karma in the next existence. In contemporary painting all these are mirrored.
- By and large, the various religions in India peacefully coexist. This is not surprising since Buddhism, Jainism and the Sikh religion are all rooted in the same soil with their roots, and Islam and Christianity have also taken their place on the subcontinent. As a result, religion and its expressive features have become firmly established in everyday life over time. There are good days to travel, and astrological calculations are used for important events such as a wedding or the start of a new business.
The Indian Art Option
In a sense, India is like a big sea, always ready to assimilate other cultures. This may seem strange to those who regard the Indian way of life as dogmatic. The country has always been open to foreign influences, such as trade or invasions, and has had connections within Asia to China, Egypt, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Tibet, Burma and Sri Lanka, as well as to the English, French, Portuguese and Dutch from Europe, all set up colonies to control trade and later use the country’s natural resources. All of these peoples have left cultures that uniquely mingled with an Indian one.
The tradition of Indian painting dates back more than 8,000 years a legacy few nations can boast of. The oldest known art forms are rock paintings of prehistoric Stone Age.
They are mainly linear drawings of animals such as elephants, bison and deer as well as hunting scenes, which were displayed in red and yellow ocher colors. In the last section of this period, hand-sculpted clay figurines of a mother goddess have been created.
- The Indus Valley civilization existed at the same time as that of the Nile valley and was from 3000 to 1500 BC. It had a thriving maritime trade and well-planned townships with houses, courtyards, bathrooms, and a sophisticated sewage system. This period is attributed to the oldest known Indian sculptures. However, paintings have not been preserved. The most famous sculptures, depictions of a mother goddess, are characterized by large breasts, a full belly and the headdress. They were probably used in the daily worship of the gods. Other preserved objects are clay seals with figures of animal figures (elephant and bull) and mythical creatures that resemble the fabulous unicorn. One of the most beautiful excavations in the Indus Valley is the bronze figure of a naked, dancing girl, radiating an unusual dynamic.
One of the largest dynasties of art was the Mauryas, who occupied India during the 3rd century BC. dominated. Here, too, sculpture took on a central position. It is not only an expression of creative creation, but also a symbol of the ever-growing empire. The sculptors of the Mauryas were characterized by an excellent technique in the depiction of both humans and animals. The largest of the Maurya emperors was Ashoka, who converted to Buddhism after a victorious but bloody battle. Monolithic pillars with Buddhist messages distributed throughout the land were created during his reign.
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