5000 Years of the Art of India by Mario Bussagli

By Mario Bussagli

With 397 illustrations in colour. The airborne dirt and dust jacket is expense clipped and has chips and closed tears to the extremities.

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Extra resources for 5000 Years of the Art of India

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D. 37 Although still essentially Persian in taste, the Mogul style was largely Indian, showed traces of Turkish influence, and echoed European art, especially in the perspective and relief effects of miniatures (see figs. 366, 368, and 371). Miniature painting developed enormously in the Mogul period and became one of the best and most widespread forms of art, even though it was executed in specialized and partly industrialized workshops by many different artists, some of whom did the designs, some the coloring, and some the faces.

Above are new divinities, including the Navagrahas (the planets and stars), Ganesa (the god of wisdom with an elephant’s head), Karttikeya (the god of war), and a lingam, a phallic symbol alluding to fertility. 34 secondary, questionable features, which are ornamental and schematic rather than stylistic and iconographical, and the support of their testimony is not needed to appreciate the expansion and vitality of Indian art. Its diffusion over Central Asia is proof enough, especially if we consider its traces on the art of the caravan towns of the Tarim Basin, where it merged with Classical and Iranian currents and originated extremely interesting and beautiful local developments.

Furthermore, the blotch like coloring, which makes the paintings seem heavy and static, shows that the foreign influence, if any, must have been greatly re elaborated by the unknown artists of Kulli. It is not unlikely that the keen observation that characterizes all the early great art of India, and was supported by the religious thinking, traced its roots directly to the creations of the Kulli ceramists. On the other hand, this culture cannot be measured by the same criteria that are used for the other similar cultures since, for all its ignorance of writing and lack or ability to create towns proper, it was unquestionably very complex, technically advanced, and sensitive to spiritual problems.

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