The Art Of Sculpture- Part II
Exact Match
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A bronze image of Lord Vishnu Then Vakatakas of the Deccan were the contemporaries of the Guptas and under them fine sculpture came up in abundance, mostly Buddhist at Ajanta, and Hindu at Ellora. The achievement has great range, from the lightness of flying figures and the elegant rhythmic balance of the dancing groups such as one at Aurangabad to the majaestic figure of Mahesha at Elephanta. The Chalukyas continued these trends, creating floating figures and dancing Shiva at Badami, Aihole and Pattadakkal. In the 8th century, the Rashtrakuta carved a whole hill rock at Ellora to simulate a structural temple and peopled it with sculpture on the exploits of Shiva which share the turbulent power of their unique architectural achievement.

The trend of exquisite feminine figuration climaxed in the epoch of the Chandellas(10th-12th century). The eroticism of Khajuraho sculptures has attracted great attention all over the world. Eroticism is found in the sculptures of Konark and Bhuvaneshwar of the epoch of the eastern Gangas (13th century) too. But here again the poetic and romantic figurations of women are more sensitive. Moving further south, the great achievements of the Pallavas (8th century) was the gigantic tableau at Mahabalipuram where a whole rock face has been carved into the representation of the descent of the whole Ganges and the teeming animals and humans on its banks.

Shiva is the towering figure in Chola sculpture (11th and 12th century) in stone besides bronze. But it is the work in bronze, especially the Nataraja or the dancing Shiva, that has become world famous. Under the Hoysalas (12th century) the Karnataka region created sculpture where the soft chloristic schist used attempted rather excessive details and ornamentation.

In the 16th century, Vijayanagar favoured a sculpture that reflected imperial pomp in elephant processions, cavalcades, marching soldiery. Stone sculpture influenced by the Pallava tradition and bronzes influenced by the Chola style were produced in Kerala, but its unique achievement is in sculpture in wood.

Exposed to stimuli all over the world, Indian sculptors today are experimenting in all styles, using new materials like steel and aluminium, fibre-glass and even fibre. But the most significant trend seems to be the one which seeks to recover the iconic quality, the power to stir the impulses of awe and adoration which are humanistically the most valuable strains of the Indian sculptural heredity.

The subheads under which the Sculpture section has been divided are Indus Valley,   Buddhist and Jain,   Hindu,   Islamic and   Colonial and Modern

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