| The history of Indian art unravels a breathtaking
variety of artifacts that reflect the varied and intense moods of our culture
and heritage. Timeless pieces of art have held the eye captive with its
fascinating colors and designs. Today these bear a reflection of the glorious
For centuries Indian handicrafts have been distinguished for their great aesthetic and functional value.
|India’s rural arts are the visual expression and technological processes of people living at several cultural, religious and sociological levels. They are the art of settled village and countryside, of people whose lives are tuned to the rhythm and laws of nature. One can feel the vibrancy of Indian ethnicity come alive in the myriad home products available, which are carefully crafted by the artisans. The numerous choices in materials available in each category of products add wings to flights of imagination. There are no limits to what can be achieved with the variety in hand. Various crafts that have been perfected over centuries are kept alive in the skilfull hands of the craftsmen. The diversity in the range of products is overwhelming. From flower pots in gardens to flower vase in drawing rooms, from candle-stands to cutlery in the dining rooms, from combs and photo frames to bed sheets and pillow cases in bedrooms and more. The list stretches as long as the imagination. Perhaps even beyond.|
|For instance, the figure of a dancer is one of the first metal sculpture pieces to be discovered in India. Even 5,000 years ago, Indian craftsmen had mastered the art of casting. The large Buddha figure at Sultanganj is possibly the largest surviving metalwork of ancient times. The lost wax process of casting has been developed into a fine art in India. The earliest archaelogical evidence of metal work in the Indian sub-continent is provided by the metal tools found at sites in Kalibangan in Rajasthan, Baluchistan etc. dating bak to 3000B.C. Several metal antiquities have also been discovered at the world famous Mohenjodaro and Harappa civlisation which existed around 2500B.C. The iron beams of Konark Sun temple in Orissa and the iron pillar at Qutab Minar in Delhi are evidence of the numerous skills achieved by Indians in the field of metalware. Metal is part of the Indian mystique as each metal has its own alchemic and healing powers. Availability of different metals and its vulnerable nature has made it the base for a variety of decorative techniques such as inlay, metal casting, carving, applique, etc. The scope of art metal is immense. Brass items traditionally come from Uttar Pradesh, Agra, Delhi and Orissa where as gun metal items come from Andhra Pradesh and white metal items are a speciallity from the heart of Rajasthan.|
|The art of carving is known to man from pre-historic times. Our artisans have perfected this art and continued this glorious tradition for generations. Indian craftsmen are known worldwide for their precision carvings on wood, stone and bone. The art of sculpture and architecture is the poetic expression of stone craft. Small-scale sculptures of deities, modelled on classical prototypes, continue to be made in many parts of India. The art of ‘Inlay’ involves carving of floral, trellis, creeper and geometric patterns on the white marble surface, and then setting into it semi precious stones of different colors. Sculptures of the Mauryan period, Buddhist carvings at Bharhut and Sanchi, and the rock-cut caves of Ajanta and Ellora, and Khajuraho have no parallels. Uttar Pradesh, Agra and Orissa are famous for their stone carvings where as Kerala and Tamilnadu are famous for their mastery in wood carvings. Another form of art in carving is ‘undercutting’. It is a form of carving where various layers are carved, one beneath the other, from a single piece of material which may be either stone or wood. Indian artisans are famous world over for their mastery in the art of undercutting. If an elelphant is carved in stone in undercutting, even the inner elephant (i.e. elephant within the outer elephant) is carved in such a manner that all its features are distinct.|