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|| Chola Bronzes||


As far as the origin of sculpture is concerned, it goes back to the Stone Age. The Megalithic people buried their dead and constructed monumental stones over them and worshipped them. The change Mohenjodaro Dancing girl over from worshipping the ancestral spirits to a personal God is reflected in making icons of the God with his specific attributes. Tiny terra-cotta seals discovered from the Indus Valley reveal carvings of peepal leaves, deities and animals. The famous figurine of the dancing girl of Mohenjodaro bears witness to the fact that the tradition of sculpture and bronze casting goes back to the Indus Valley Civilisation and shows tremendous sophistication and artistry.

The sculpture in India started appearing from 3rd century BC with the stone pillars of Ashoka, the stupas and Toranas of Sanchi, Bharhut, Amravati andBuddha Statue the rock-cut viharas of Barabar, Bhaja, Pitalkhoda, Karle, Bedsa, Ajanta and others and Buddha Statue continued till the12th century AD. During the reign of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, nearly 85,000 stupas were constructed. Many awe-inspiring statues exhibiting a serene Buddha, with a glowing face were crafted in large numbers. Though, Buddhism deplored idol worship, human forms of Lord Buddha began to be depicted with features like a halo around the head, the dharmachakra engraved upon his palms and soles of his feet, and the lion throne representing his royal ancestry.

Mohenjodaro Dancing girlThe earliest archaeological evidence of sculpture work in metal, terracotta, wood and stone in the Indian sub-continent is provided by the remains found at the pre-Harappan sites of Baluchistan, the Makran areas of Pakistan and Kalibangan in Rajasthan, datingSculpture back to 3000 BC. Literary evidence Sculpture from the Rigveda states that copper and bronze-smithy was a specialized science and that craftsmen were held in high esteem. Whether it is in wood, stone or ivory, the Indian carver-craftsman has been extremely versatile in applying his techniques and designs to various media. Carved wooden facades and fixtures of dwellings, domestic shrines, temples, churches and palaces of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kashmir and Kulu in Himachal Pradesh are marked by intricate designs. In Punjab and Haryana, there exists a tradition of clay wall relief in appliqué. India is also famous for producing a startling range of terracotta figures, ritual and secular utility objects and toys for children.

Modern Sculpture: Modern sculpture, like other mediums of art, has experienced a revival. While the traditionalists continue to follow the rhythmic, decorative tradition of the Gupta and Chola periods, there is a growing breed of modern sculptors who are endeavouring to simplify the art form and to bring in contemporary elements and social awareness into their art. Sculptors of this group freely assimilate art forms of Europe and other places to evolve their own individualistic styles.

Some of the modern sculptors are Amarnath Sehgal (Conquest of Moon, Collection in White House, Rising Spirit), P. Ramachandra Kamat, Panchal Rajnikant, Dhanraju Bhagat, Jairam, D.P.Choudhury, Sankha Choudhury, Raghav Kaneria, S.Dhanapal, P.V.Janakiram, C.Dakshinamoorthy, P.S.Nandhan, S.Parmavisam, Vidyashankar Sthapathy, S.Nandagopal, Chintamoni, Nandgopal Shankar, Niranjan Pradhan, Pradosh Kusum Das Gupta, Meera Mukherjee and Jashu Shilpi.


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