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major themes of Indian art seem to begin emerging as early as the Harappan period, about 2500 BC. With the arrival of the IndoEuropeans (or Aryans) around 1500 BC, came new artistic ideas.


500 BC, the conversion to Buddhism of a large part of the population of India - brought new artistic themes. Conquests of Alexander the Great, in the 320s BC - also had an important impact on Indian art. He left colonies of Greek veteran soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan, some of which were sculptors.


Greek-style carvings attracted attention in India. First life-size stone statues in India date to the 200s BC, just after Alexander. Guptan period, about 500 AD - great cave temples of Ajanta and Ellora were carved. Scenes from the life of the Buddha became popular, and statues of the Buddha.


from the 2nd-6th century and are 30 in number. Dedicated to Buddhism and the carvings in them portary the life of Lord Buddha along with other carvings like that of animals.


of Islamic faith and Islamic conquerors about 1000 AD. Brought iconoclasm to India, and a love of varied and complex patterning derived from Arabic and Persian models. This affected even Hindu artists who had not converted to Islam. Small Persian-style miniature paintings also became popular.


India, all art, like all life, is given over to religion. Indian art is life, as interpreted by religion and philosophy. Described as theological, hieratic, or, perhaps best of all as traditional. Like all traditional art, the purpose is primarily to instruct men in the great first causes, which according to the seers, govern the material, spiritual and celestial worlds.

The cultural policy of the Government of India has three major objectives:

the cultural heritage of

India, Inculcating Indian art consciousness amongst Indians, And promoting high standards in creative and performing arts.


and curvaceous lines, vines and tendrils. Round-figured goddesses, circular amulets, colored gemstones, arches and domes, haloed deities, crescent moons, and the globe of the sun. Sculptures & paintings depict the diversity, colour and spontaneity of the country and are representations of the all-encompassing nature of Indian culture.


designs have been tradionally handed down to the younger generation by the elders. Several organisations and magazines conduct kolam exhibitions & contests to revive the interest in traditional habits & customs. There are enthusiasts who create fresh new designs, but kolams are basically redrawn by the public following the designs taught by elders or printed in books & magazines.


in India from very early periods, evident from literary sources and also from the discovered remnants. Contemporary artists have kept up to the times & excel in their modern works, giving free expression to their imagination & artistic liberty.


be broadly classified as the murals & miniatures. Murals- huge works executed the walls of solid structures. Miniature paintings are those executed on a very small scale on perishable material such as paper, cloth, etc., Though perfected by artisans under the various rules, not many remain today.

Shiva mural in the Kailasanatha Temple, dating from the 8th century AD

*Shiva (meaning "auspicious one") is a major Hindu deity, Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the Supreme God and has five Important works: creator, preserver, destroyer, concealer, and revealer (to bless).


shergil was not a product of india or Punjabi socio cultural milieu. She was the daughter of Sardar Umrao Singh Shergil and Antoinette, a Hungarian lady endowed with considerable artistic talent. Born in Budapast on January 30th , 1913. spent the formative years of her life in Europe. During her stay in Europe till 1934, her paintings were largely academic, consisting of still life, nude studies, portraits and the like.

Brides toilette

Young Girls, 1932, Amritas sister Indira sits on the left clothed in chic European garb, while the partially undressed figure in the foreground is a French friend, Denise Proutaux. This painting was awarded a Gold Medal at the Grand Salon in 1933.

Camels , 1935.

Hill Women, 1935.

Hungarian Market Scene, 1938

Tribal Women, 1938

Mother India

He is generally considered as one among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art. His paintings are considered to be among the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art.

His exposure in the west came when he won the first prize in Vienna Art Exhibition in 1873. He learnt oil painting from a British painter, Theodor Jenson. Whose techniques he used in his paintings. The feminine emotions being the central theme, he is the first one who brought about a momentous turn in the art of India.