Indian Art (Part I)

Indian Art (Part I)
Indian Art (Part I)

India has always been a place surrounded by mystery and exoticism for Western culture that has powerfully called our attention, not in vain, this territory was the first in the East to which the Greeks arrived thanks to the conquests of Alexander Magno and for which they felt a great attraction. We often tend to emphasize that art is a form of expression of the society that engenders it, so Indian art is a true reflection of a multicultural society, influenced by diverse peoples and what is more, various religions –Buddhism, Christianity, Islam…- that left their mark on the plastic arts.


According to experts in the 3rd century B.C. a culture would appear in the Indus Valley area that was as old as Mesopotamia itself, already in these ancient dates we find a well-structured society that was quite ahead of its time. In the area of ​​India, the monsoon climate makes the vegetation grow exuberantly overflowing the human being, a fact that influenced the art of this culture since in its artistic conception there is no idea of ​​subordinating the natural element as Western art did., Rather the complete opposite; Indian art is intimately linked to the natural element and subject to it. In its iconography reference is made to multiple natural elements: the sun, the rivers, the moon… which have acquired a sacred character and as such,have been revered.

On the other hand we must emphasize how in terms of the theme, religion or rather religions, monopolize the majority of the forms of plastic arts. Art has been understood as a link with divinity and also with nature, a means to transcend to another world. In this sense, it seems logical to think that the artist's work would be subject to his work, so that he would not have any recognition beyond his own.

Between AD 330 and 550 It was a time of special importance for the art of Indian culture, during this stage the well-known Gupta empire developed in India and the Vedas appeared, the sacred texts of the Vedic religion, in which the representation of the sacred that painters and sculptors had to follow as well as the indications that architects used to build temples; In this way, a new iconography and aesthetics were recorded in writing, developing from then on a unitary and homogeneous style.

Perhaps one of the facts that most catches our attention when analyzing the art of Indian culture is its expressiveness when it comes to representing the erotic; In Western art, sex and the naked body have always been treated with multiple taboos, on the contrary, for culture, sex is intimately linked with its religious beliefs, so that the representation of sexual elements is a constant in its iconography as representation of some of the main Hindu deities.

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