Art, Culture, Literature and Architecture for RAS/RTS Mains and RAS/RTS Prelims

Art Forms of India

 

 MughalPahariRajasthani/RajputMadhubani/MithilaManjusha/AngikaTanjore
OriginEarlier Persian blend. Became Indian under Akbar.Originated in the sub-Himalayan kingdoms of 19th century.Early 16th century. Various sub-schools existedDone traditionally by the women in the villages near the town of Madhubani. It originated as floor and wall paintings.

 

Essentially a folk tradition

 17th century under the patronage of Tanjore’s Maratha rulers
TypeMostly in miniature formMostly done in miniature form    
ThemesDocument of life at the Mughal court, battles, hunt, arrival of embassies, festivities

 

Portrait paintings developed under Jahangir

Love of man for woman. Symbolised by Krishna and RadhaStrongly influenced by the contemporary literary and musical forms, and draw upon their motifs

 

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Nature and Hindu religious motifs Usually portrayed deities. Vishnu,Shiva and Krishna
Exceptional Point   Was originally practiced by Brahmins and Kayasthas. Later SC women also adopted it. But the themes of the two are different. While higher castes depicted mythological themes, SCs experimented with day-to-day scenes.  
CharacteristicsRealism is the keynote of this style

 

Artists had made contacts with Western art. Influence can be seen.

Bold and intense – Basohli

Delicate and lyrical; Tones subdued and lines exquisitely fine – Kangra

Decorate in their composition and colour scheme

 

Landscape lacks the naturalism of the Mughal school

 

Two dimensional imagery. Colors derived from plants.

 

No space is left empty. Gaps are filled by painting flowers, plants animals and even geometric shapes.

Snakes are a prominent featureArtists adhered strictly to iconography as these paintings were made for ritual and worship and not for display as is mostly the case today.
Technique  Used wider canvasTraditionally done as murals on mud walls. Now is also done one cloth, paper and canvas Made on jackwood pasted with unbleached cloth to which a mixture of limestone, chalk powder, gum and honey are applied in layers on a sketch of the icon. Extra coats given to raise some parts of the painting. Jewellery etc are put.
Major ArtistsBasawan, Daswanth, Kesudasa, Mansur  Jagdamba Devi, Mahasundari Devi  
Major WorksAkbarnama illustrations; rare birds and animals – Falcon (CS Museum, Bombay), Red Blossoms – floral painting Jodhpur and Nagaur paintings.   
Major schools Basohli, Guler, KangraMalwa, Mewar (Ragamala paintings), Marwar, Kishangarh, Jaipur, Bundi, KotahBharni style, Kachni style  
PatronsAkbar, JahangirRaja Kripal Singh (Bahsoli)   Sarabhiji 2, Shivaji 2, Mummadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar

 

Rajasthani Art Schools

Mewar (Ragamala)

  • themes from the life of Krishna and his frolic with the gopis; heroes and heroines of Hindi poetry.
  • Scenes from Bhagvata and Ramayana
  • Landscape lacks the naturalism of the Mughal school

Marwar

  • Genuine Rajput style evolved under this school
  • Equestrian portraits of the royal house and the nobility.
  • Show bold types of expression with broad, fish eyes in human faces
  • This school is essentially Hindu

Jaipur

  • Raslila was painted. It became ‘an earthly erotic amusement’

 

Manjusha Art

  • Manjushas are temple shaped boxes containing eight pillars
  • The boxes often contain the paintings of gods, goddesses and other characters
  • The boxes are used in Bishahari Puja
  • This is practiced in the Bhagalpur region of Bihar

 

 

Handicrafts

  • Channapatna toys
    • Wooden toys from Karnataka
  • Nirmal Toys
    • Wooden toys made in the town of Nirmal in Adilabad district
  • Tanjore doll
    • Bobblehead made of terracotta

Sandpainting

 

Kolam

  • Drawn using rice powder by female members in front of their home
  • Mainly in South India

Rangoli

  • North India. Using sand colors, flour or flowers

 

Other fine arts

  • Mehandi
  • Pichhwai
    • Intricate paintings that portray Lord Krishna
    • Exist in the town of nathdwara in Rajasthan
  • Tarakashi
    • A type of metalwork from Cuttack

 

Indian Art Awards

  • Kalaimamani
    • By Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Manram
  • Kalidas Samman
    • Presented by the MP govt
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship
  • Shilp Guru
    • By GOI to a master craftsperson. Started in 2002.
  • Tulsi Samman
    • By MP govt. In fields of art, theatre, dance and music.
  • Varnashilpi Venkatappa Award
    • By Karnataka govt for excellence in painting
Architecture

Harappan

  • Drainage system
  • Rectangular intersecting roads
  • Sanitary system

Mauryan

  • Monolithic Pillars
  • Finely carved capitols – Bull capitol and Sarnath capitol
  • Stupas start during this period – 4 gateways
    • Surface built with bricks
  • Viharas and Chaityas
    • Barabar Caves

Shunga – Satvahanas

  • Early classic architecture
  • Carved railings and gateways around Buddhist shrines

Kushan

  • Sculpture developed
  • The emperor himself was a divine authority
  • Buddha was first time given a human form during this time

Gupta period

  • Beginning of Hindu temples – temple at Deoghar, Udaigiri caves in Orissa
  • Vaishnavite temple in Vidisha

Pallavas

  • Mandaps, Rathas and finely carved panels and pillars
  • Shore temple at Mahabs is a structural temple
  • Ratha temple is a rock cut temple
  • Kanchipuram also has temples
    • Panels depict shiva as Natraja
    • History of Pallavas

Cholas

  • Tanjaur Temple: 65 m tall vimana
  • Pillared halls and sculptures depicting Bharata’s natyashastra
  • Fine paintings

Pandyas

  • Built high outerwalls and gopuram
  • Their gopurams can be seen from long distances

Hoysalas

  • Belur and Halebeed temples
  • Profusion of manifold pillars with rich and intricate carvings
  • Panels depict gods and goddesses

Orissa Temples

  • Lingraja temple
    • 40 m high
  • Sun Temple

Nagara, Dravida and Visara

 

Table 1

 NagaraDravidaVisara
 Temples called PRASADA Combination of Dravida and Nagara (Chalukyas).
 Shikhara is curvilinearShikhara pyramidal 
 No role of pillarPillar important 
 No tankTank may be there 
 No enclosureEnclosure and gopuram 
  Vimana 
 Mahadeva TempleBrihadeshwaraEg Some in Khajuraho, Sirpur etc

 

Cave architecture

Progressed in three phases

  • Buddhist Jain Ajivika caves (3rd BC to 2nd AD)
    • Kaneri, Nashik, Udaigiri
  • Ajanta Ellora Cave (5th to 7th AD)
  • Elephanta Ellora and Mahabs (7th to 10th)

 

 

Sculpture

Two major schools

  • Gandhara
    • Greco-Roman Style
    • North West India
    • Stone and stucco
  • Madhura
    • Indigenous style
    • UP Bihar
    • White spotted red sandstone used
    • Forms of Brahmanical deities crystallised for the first time in this art form

Themes of Buddha and Bodhisatvas in Both

 

 

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