(Last Updated on : 27/04/2012)
India has witnessed art in the form of sculpture due to the patronage of various kings and migratory groups. However as far as schools of sculpture in the true sense of the term include Pala school of sculpture, Mathura school of sculpture, Gandhara school of sculpture and Amravati school of sculpture.
Pala sculpture can be attributed to the late Gupta style. At a later stage the style drifted away from its origin and developed its own style. The deviation was due to the fusion of classical mannerism with the indigenous style of Bengal. The new style integrated a number of attributes that were common to the native Bengali sculpture and architecture. The sculptural images combined spiritual and mundane suggestions and were marked by sensuousness.
Mathura school of art specialized in creation of images of the Buddha. The Mathura
school of art is renowned worldwide for its vivacity and assimilative character of Indian themes, a tradition it has maintained till date. Mathura school of art is regarded as an outgrowth of ancient Indian school that flourished as centres of religious art back in 200B.C. Mathura city gained prominence under the supremacy of the Kushanas. The fervour of Brahmanism, Jainism
is very well distinguished in the paintings of Mathura School of Art. It draws inspiration from the ancient Indian arts of Bharhut and Sanchi.
Amaravati School of sculpture
evolved during the rule of Satavahanas. Sculptural wealth of Amaravati is displayed include the typical motifs of the Amaravati art and sculptures. It includes the lotus and the 'purnakumbha' motifs. These symbols stand for abundance and auspiciousness. Lord Buddha
is depicted in the form of 'Swastika' mark. In the lower reliefs of the domes the Jatakas have been depicted. The standing Buddha here dates back to the 8th century AD.
Gupta sculpture is the logical outcome of the early classical sculpture of Amravati
. Its grace is derived from that of Mathura and its elegance from that of Amravati. Gupta sculpture seems to belong to a sphere that is entirely different. It seems that the Gupta artist seems to have been working for a higher ideal.
Another remarkable school of architecture was the Dravidian architecture that established itself between 200 AD to 1200 AD. Some of the most renowned South Indian kingdoms adapted this mode of architecture for temple building. Thus the Dravidian art and sculpture are widely found in the colossal temples. These mammoth stone or rock buildings belong to Chola, Chalukya, Hoysala, Pandya, Nayaka, Pala or Pallava dynasties. Alongside the South Indian temples
a separate style for North Indian temples also evolved. This was known as the Nagara School of architecture. During this same era the architecture of Bengal also established itself as a popular form.
Indo-Islamic Architecture With the onset of the Mughal architecture
the entire scenario underwent a huge metamorphosis in Indian architecture. Temples were replaced by a variety of other monuments. The Persian influence slowly submerged into the mainstream to give birth to the remarkable Indo-Islamic school of architecture. The Indo Islamic sculptures found on the famous Muslim monuments bear testimony to the rich cultural heritage of the sub-continent. The history of Indian architecture underwent another change with the arrival of the British. The Indo-Saracenic school of architecture created ripples with its gothic styled buildings. These were later tone down with the help of the native influence as well. The features of Indo-Saracenic sculptures
are still to be found on the building belonging to British India.
Today there is no strict idiom for Indian architecture and sculptures. The influence of previous schools of Indian architecture has left an indelible mark on the present. Hence even today several modern architectural plans include these elements from the past.