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    Art — An Introduction

    What is Art — An Introduction (Indian Context)



    Art is a technique to complete work in a particular manner to get the best result. A person gets the artistic or aesthetic sense from nature. So, art and artistic sense in human being is natural or God-gifted. 

    This sense can be observed in all those routine and particular acts and activities performed by him. Everyone tries to improve or modify it on the basis of knowledge acquired through deep and sensitive observation about his surroundings and nature. 

    Thus, Art is a natural way to express the ideas and thoughts whatever a person has in his mind. Now, we can say that every person is an artist and he uses so many ways to express his ideas and thoughts through—

    I. Visual Arts, 

    2. Performing Arts, and 

    3. Literary Arts. 


    1. Visual Arts:

    In which the artists create physical or static art objects using different types of colors, mediums, and other materials. It has three distinct features as (i) Fine Arts, (ii) Decorative Arts and Craft (iii) Applied or Commercial Arts.

    2. Performing Arts: 

    In which the artists use their voices or the movements of their bodies with suitable expressions. For example: singing, dancing, playing music and playing drama.

    3. Literary Arts: 

    It is a medium by which a person expresses his ideas and thoughts through creative writing such as writing poetry, scriptwriting, and articles on social, cultural, political and other issues. But the calligraphic work may be the part of visual art. 



    Visual Arts 

    Fine Arts: 

    An artwork that is created by an artist to fulfill his desires or aesthetics. Every artwork becomes new on the basis of themes, used techniques, mediums, and methodology. 

    There is no scope for repeating and copying the artwork. Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking, along with the activities like Graphic art, Manuscript Illumination, Book Illustration, Calligraphy, and Architecture are the ways to express the ideas while techniques, mediums, and methodology used in the artwork are the tools. 

    On the basis of history, scope used techniques and methodology, the Fine Arts have two Forms—(i) Traditional Arts and (ii) Modern or Contemporary Arts.


    Decorative Arts & Crafts: 

    These artifacts are used for decoration purposes. So, the reproduction of these artifacts are possible up to the being demand. These include: ceramics and studio pottery, mosaic art, tapestry, glass art (including stained glass), handicraft and folk arts. 

    Applied or Commercial Arts: 

    These arts also include a number of the modern application of arts or commercial art activities, such as: Assemblage, Collage, Mixed-media, Art and Installation, along with film-based disciplines such as Photography, Videography, and Animation. Other groups of modern applied arts are computer graphics and giclee prints, graphic design, fashion design, and interior design. In addition to tattoo art, face painting, and body painting, some other modern visual arts are land arts like ice/snow and sand sculptures, graffiti art.

    Art and the Culture: 

    The soul of a nation exists in the people living there and in the culture nourished by them during a long historical and pre-historical period of time. 

    After passing through many difficulties during this long period of time the culture and the socio-human values not only remain to maintain its existence but also have been handed over to the next generations with additional beneficial support. 

    Now, it is well known that Art is an important part of our culture. If we want to be familiar with the culture of a nation, we shall have to study all the Art forms prevalent there.

    During 200—300 A.D., Vatsyayana, having studied all the important books are known as 'Shastras' and he wrote the gist of all the learning's ordained by the Shastras, and complied them in his famous book 'Kamasutra', in which 64 types of arts have been described, out of which painting has been ranked in fourth place. 

    It was a fully developed art with six limbs of painting (Shadangas). Besides Vatsyayana, this couplet has been given even in Pandit Yashodhara's annotation on 'Jai Mangala', that is:

    Roop Bhedah Pramanani Bhavlavanya yojnam 
    Sadrishya Varnikabhang iti chitra Shadangkam



    According to the couplet, 'Six Limbs of Art' have been described as followed:

    1. Roop Bhed: 

    Capability to differentiate among the Scenes observed by an artist. It is possible when an artist studies deeply about various segments of sight scenes /objects.

    2. Praman: 

    Proportion or exact ratio. It is the proportional measurement of different objects or segments of an object, covered in the Painting (picture).

    3. Bhav: 

    Expressions. It is the action of feelings of the artist's heart which is expressed by the artist in his creation.

    4. Lavanyayojna: 

    Infusion of grace or knowledge of beauty. It should be reflected in the painting.

    5. Sadrishya: 

    Actuality in the view. Actually Realty of the sight, the scene should be reflected in the creation of an artist.

    6. Varnika Bhang: 

    Color variation. It is the magical or artistic use of colors; a better combination of colors makes a painting attractive and perfect.

    NO Picture/painting can be perfect unless an artist or painter uses all these six aspects of painting in his creation. With the deep study of these aspects, an artist becomes able to make his art alive.




    Origin and Development of Different Forms of Fine Arts in India: 

    In India, there are so many assumptions about the origin of Painting (an art form) which are found in old volumes where Vishnu' has been regarded as the founder of painting. 

    According to a story—having self-engrossed in the charming beauty of nymph Urvashi, Vishnu did not know when he painted her figure on his thigh, and in this way, the very first painting came into existence.



    To propagate this knowledge of painting throughout the world, Vishnu gave this to Vishvakarma and, through the innumerable painters and skilled craftsmen, it has been proceeded ahead and ahead. 

    The same assumption is presented as the subject-matter of several volumes. According to the Bhagvatpuran; Chitralekha, a friend of devil Baanasur's daughter, Usha was skilled in making the picture (drawing/painting) of someone/something exactly alike only on hearing a story about that. 

    She made several episodic pictures (paintings) of Krishna's grandson, Aniruddh, to hear his stories. 



    According to human scriptural researches, in India, the initiating examples of the painting are found in cave-age. 

    Having taken shelter in cave houses, the human inscribed the paintings of different human activities and frightful and ferocious wild animals on their walls. 

    The extensive multitude of the same type wall-painting in the caves of Bhimbetka, near Bhopal is the biggest in India. These wall-paintings have been classified into seven time-zones. Out of them, the oldest fresco is of 10000 B.C.



    In the second phase of painting in India, the painted earthen-wares of the Indus Valley civilization have been included, together with, the good examples of sculptures and architecture which express the development of artistic skills and knowledge of this period. 

    Distinct geometrical drawings, stronghold, and the use of dark colors are the identity of paintings of that time. 

    Including the caves of Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta and Bagh, made between 4th to 7th centuries, the frescos painted in temples and monasteries, seem to be saying the story of the climax of wall-painting and Sculptures in India. 



    The wall-paintings of Ajanta are counted among the contemporary world's best wall-paintings. Although the portrayal and perspective of apparels in Bagh-Caves are not as impressive as those of in the caves of Ellora, yet the delineation of nature seems to be more divine and calm. 

    Sculptures are given preference in the caves of Ellora whereas the place of the painting is secondary. Here the main delineation has been done only on ceilings and the walls of the pavilions. 

    In Ellora, the body marshaling and accurate construction of embroidery of both animals and human beings are worth seeing.


    Prehistoric Rock Paintings


    The rock-painting was discovered in 1867-68 A.D. by an archaeologist Archibold Corlleyle. Cockburn, Anderson, Mitra, and Ghosh were the early archaeologists who initially took interest to discover a large number of sites where primitive men took shelter in the caves during the prehistoric period in the Indian subcontinent. 

    Remnants of rock paintings have been found on the walls of the caves which are widely spread and situated in several districts of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Odisha, and Uttarakhand. 

    But some of them have great importance to understand the human life of that period. These are as follows: 

    1. Prehistoric cave paintings of Lakhudiyar (means one lakh caves) in Almora district of Uttarakhand can be divided into three categories—man, animal and geometric patterns with white, black and red ochre. There are some superimpositions of paintings. The earliest are in black, over these are red ochre paintings and the last group comprises white paintings. 

    2. The granite rocks of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh provided suitable space to the Neolithic men for paintings. Kupagallu, Piklihal, and Tekkalkota are famous sites where three types of rock paintings have been found—paintings in white, paintings in red ochre oyer a white background and paintings in red ochre. 

    These paintings belong to late historical, early historical and Neolithic periods. Bulls, elephants, sambhars, gazelles, sheep, goats, horses, and stylized humans have mainly depicted figures of these sites. 

    3. Among these, the largest and most spectacular rock shelters of Bhimbetka are located in the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh near Bhopal. 

    Bhimbetka is forty-five kilometers far away in South of Bhopal where about eight hundred rock shelters of stone-age have been discovered, in which there are five hundred bear paintings of stone-age people. 

    These cave shelters are scattered in an area of ten square kilometers. The caves of Bhimbetka were discovered by an eminent archaeologist, V.S. Wakankar, in 1957-58 A.D. and later on many more sites were also discovered. Wakankar spent several years here to study these paintings. 



    The paintings found here are of great variety in the subjects like events of daily life, hunting scene, dancing scene, playing musical instruments, honey collection, decoration of bodies and other household scenes. 

    In spite of these, some animals have also been painted with human as horse and elephant riders, animal fightings, stag, tiger, bison, etc. 

    On the basis of style, technique and time-periods, the rock art of Bhimbetka have been classified into seven groups as Period—III: Chalcolithic, Period—I: Upper Palaeolithic, Period—II: Mesolithic, Periods—IV and V: Early History Periods—VI and VII: Medieval. 

    Upper Palaeolithic Period. In this period, the big size figures of animals such as bison, tigers, rhinoceros, boars and stick-like human figures had been delineated on the wall of the caves in green and dark red in which a few are wash paintings and mostly in geometric patterns. The dancers were painted in green and hunters in red.

    Mesolithic Period:

    The paintings of this period are comparatively small in size but more in numbers. There is the depiction of communal dances, birds, humans playing musical instruments, mothers and children, pregnant women. 

    Men carrying dead animals. In addition to animals, there are many hunting scenes that are giving a clear picture of the weapons they used like a pointed stick, bow, and arrows.

    Chalcolithic Period:

    The paintings of this period are similar to those of the Mesolithic period. But during this period, the cave dwellers of this area came into contact with agricultural communities of the Malwa plains and they exchanged goods with them.

    Early History Period:

    The paintings of this period are schematic and decorative in style and painted mainly in red, white and yellow colors. The association of riders, the depiction of religious symbols as figures of Yakshas, tree, gods and magical sky chariots are worth seeing.

    Medieval Period:

    The paintings of this period are more schematic, linear and geometrical in shape, but they show degeneration and crudeness in their style. The colors were prepared by combining manganese, hematite and wooden coal (charcoal). 

    The painters of Bhimbetka used many colors with various shades of white, yellow, orange, red ochre, purple, brown, green and black. 

    These colors were made by grinding various rocks, minerals, and pigments. Geru is used for red color, chalcedony (stone) for green color and limestone for white. 

    To make them stable the artists used to mixed animal fat or gum or resin of trees. Plant fibers and hair of animals are used to make brushes. 

    So, you can imagine why these paintings are in existence after passing thousands of years. The colors of these paintings are intact until now.



    The artists depicted those scenes of the environment in which they lived. Both men and animals seem to be engaged in the struggle for their survival. 

    At some places in Bhimbetka, a new painting was painted on top of an older one, like that 20 pageants of paintings have been found in some places. Some of the places were considered sacred or special.











    Artists: 

    Pablo Picasso 4. Salvador Dali 5. Frida Kahlo




    Indian Artist

    1.G.R. Santosh  2. Jai Zharotia 3. Ramkinkar Vaij 4. Dhan Raj Bhagat 5. Somnath Hore 6. Raja Ravi Varma 7. Ratnabali Kant 8. Satish Gujral  9. Anjolie Ela Menon 10. Jagdish Swaminathan   11. Bishamber Khanna  12. Shanti Dave  13. Om Prakash  14. A Ramachandran 15. Arpita Singh 16. Gulam Mohammad Sheikh  17. Biren De  18. Manjit Bawa 19. Gogi Saroj Pal  20. Arpana Caur 21. Vivan Sundaram  22.Amar Nath Sehgal 23. Jatin Das  24.Meera Mukherjee 25. P. V. Janakiram 26. Ved Nayar 27. Mrinalini Mukherjee  28. Lydia Mehta 29. Krishna Reddy 30. Surindra Chadha 31. Anupam Sud 32. Sankho Chaudhuri 33. Gaganendranath Tagore 34. Rabindranath Tagore 35. Nandalal Bose  36. Abanindranath Tagore 37. Jamini Roy 38. Amrita Sher-Gil 39. A. R. Chughtai  40. Zainul Abedin 41. George Keyt 42. M.F. Husain 43. Binod Bihari Mukharji 44. K. G. Subramanyan  45. Krishen Khanna  46. Tyeb Mehta  47. Ram Kumar 48. Pran Nath Mago 49. F.N. Souza 50. B.C.Sanyal 51. K.S.Kulkarni 52. HarKrishan Lal 53. Jahangir Sabavala 54. Sailoz Mukherjee 55. N. S. Bendre  56. K.K.Hebbar 57. Bimal Das Gupta  



    Female Artists:

    1.Amrita Sher-Gil  2. Arpana Caur  3. Anupam Sud   4. Lydia Mehta   5. Mrinalini Mukherjee   6. Meera Mukherjee   7. Ratnabali Kant




    Ghazal & Shayari:





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