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The Classical Period of Indian Art :Gupta Art

4 coins from Bayana hoard.Bharatpur distt. gupta, 4th century AD . National Museum, New Delhi. All abverse a) Samudragupta's coin of asvemedha, horse scrifice.  b) Lion-slayer Chandragupta II .king shooting lion. c) Couch type coin, Chandragupta II. King seated at ease on a couch with a lotus in his hand. Love of fine arts. d) Samudragupta's Chhatra (Umbrella) held over King by dwarf attendant to suggest majestic personality and height of the ruler. (click on pic. to see larger image)

A powerful new dynasty emerged in India, about 320 AD called the Guptas, who were probably not even having royal lineage, but for a century ruled all of North Central India and are credited with the 'classical' period of Indian art as well as a golden cultural era famous for its science, literature (Sanskrit poet/ playwright Kalidas belonged to this period), visual and performing arts. The renowned Gupta sculptural style evolved from it's earlier Kushan Mathura ancestors, but was refined at Sarnath, where an abundance of Buddhist sculptures were discovered. The unique 'wet Buddha' style emerged here which depicted him wearing transparent clinging garb as if he just emerged from water. However in the Gupta period Buddhism began to be overshadowed by Hinduism resulting in a profusion of Hindu sculpture. The dramatic rock-cut shrine at Udayagiri, near Bhopal dated 402 AD (the reign of Chandra Gupta II) combining Kushan tradition with innovation, is the earliest example of Gupta Hindu art. Also prominent in Gupta Hindu sculpture is the Dashavatara Temple at Devgarh near Jhansi, displaying the Nagara (North Indian) style of temples, erected about 425AD. Here, along with deep set relief panels inside the temple, relief work ran around the entire base of the structure depicting events from the epic, Ramayana.






Flying Vidyadharas from Gwalior.Gupta,5th century A.D,National Museum, New Delhi. (click on pic. to see larger image)


Rama releasing Ahalya from the curse of sage Gautama.Scene from Ramayana, from Deogarh.Gupta 5th century AD.National Museum, New Delhi. (click on pic. to see larger image)


Yakshi Ambika from Akota,Maitraka, 6th century AD.Baroda Museum. (click on pic. to see larger image)

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Arts Indian Atelier 1999-2000