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Rock-art
Indian Fresco
Folk and tribal art
 
Indian Arts

Rock-art

The earliest Indian religion to inspire major artistic monuments was Buddhism. Though there may have been earlier structures in wood that have been transformed into stone structures, there are no physical evidences for these except textual references. Obscurity shrouds the period between the decline of the Harappans and the definite historic period starting with the Mauryas. Soon after the Buddhists initiated the rock-cut caves, Hindus and Jains started to imitate them at Badami, Aihole, Ellora, Salsette, Elephanta, Aurangabad and Mamallapuram.

Indian rock art has continuously evolved, since the first rock cut caves, to suit different purposes, social and religious contexts, and regional differences.

Indian Fresco

The tradition and methods of Indian cliff painting gradually evolved throughout many thousands of years - there are found multiple locations with prehistoric art. The oldest frescoes of historical period have been preserved in Ajanta Caves from 2nd century BC. In total there are known more than 20 locations in India with paintings and traces of former paintings of ancient and early medieval times (up to 8th - 10th century AD) The most significant frescoes of ancient and early medieval period are located in Ajanta Caves, Bagh Caves, Ellora Caves, Sittanavasal.
Chola Fresco of Dancing girls. Brihadisvara Temple c. 1100 C.E.

The Chola fresco paintings were discovered in 1931 within the circumambulatory passage of the Brihadisvara Temple in India and are the first Chola specimens discovered.

Researchers have discovered the technique used in these frescoes. A smooth batter of limestone mixture is applied over the stones, which took two to three days to set. Within that short span, such large paintings were painted with natural organic pigments.

During the Nayak period the chola paintings were painted over. The Chola frescoes lying underneath have an ardent spirit of saivism is expressed in them. They probably synchronised with the completion of the temple by Rajaraja Cholan the Great.

Folk and tribal art

Folk and tribal art in India takes on different manifestations through varied medium such as pottery, painting, metalwork, paper-art, weaving and designing of objects such as jewelry and toys.

Often puranic gods and legends are transformed into contemporary forms and familiar images. Fairs, festivals, and local deities play a vital role in these arts.

It is in art where life and creativity are inseparable. The tribal arts have a unique sensitivity, as the tribal people possess an intense awareness very different from the settled and urbanized people. Their minds are supple and intense with myth, legends, snippets from epic, multitudinous gods born out of dream and fantasy. Their art is an expression of their life and holds their passion and mystery.

Folk art also includes the visual expressions of the wandering nomads. This is the art of people who are exposed to changing landscapes as they travel over the valleys and highlands of India. They carry with them the experiences and memories of different spaces and their art consists of the transient and dynamic pattern of life. The rural, tribal and arts of the nomads constitute the matrix of folk expression.
 

 
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