Art in India is intimately connected with the country’s history, culture, religion and philosophy. In India, art can only be fully understood from its social perspective. Different arts of India define the countries cultural consciousness in context with its ancient history and religious diversity.
Indian art always derived its strength and inspiration from its vast reservoir of religions, philosophy and territorial culture. Each religion gave its spiritual aspect, symbolism, thought and technique to different forms of art in India.
Indian art is divided into five different periods. Art first emerged as a definite Indian entity with the advent of Hinduism and Buddhism in 3500 BC. This was followed by the influence of the Mughal culture on Indian art scene between 712 and 1757 AD. The Mughal influence was a direct result of the Mughal invasion in the country.
In Indian art, symbolism is as old as its culture. Indian art is also unique in terms of its varied metaphors, similies, Gods, Godesses, philosophies and visual imagery. The colonial influence on Indian art became evident between 1757 and 1947. Post 1947 the Indian independence movement started exerting its influence on the Indian art scene.
Contemporary Indian art comprises the modern and postmodern period.
Rabindranath Tagore is called the father of modern art in India. Modern Indian artists like Jamini Roy and S.H.Raza were inspired by the folk art traditions of ancient India. Some other famous Indian artists of the postcolonial culture are S.K.Bakre, K.H.Ara, M.F.Hussain, H.A.Gade, S.H Raza and F.N.Raza.
Other well-known Indian artists of the present time are Tyeb Mehta, V.S.Gaitonde, Ram Kumar, Akbar Padamsee, Krishna Khana, Geeta Vadhera, Krishnamachari Bose and Bikash Bhattacharya. Atul Dodiya and Subodh Gupta have also made their names in international art markets.
Each period in India was characterized by special features in the field of literature, painting and architecture.
Indian artists were primarily concerned with the philosophical aspect of their visual ex-pression. Their art epitomized abstract ideas in terms of creativity and cultural ex-pression. Religion and the culture of each place dominated the works of particular artists from time to time. Personal heritage and the socio-political rhythm dictated different trends of art in India, from time to time.
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