(Last Updated on : 28/01/2009)
The art of Harsha's period has no separate position of its own. It is related to the art of Gupta period as well. Though it is true that art of Harsha's period has no independent existence of its own, yet it would be wrong to state that no progress was made in the field of art during Harsha's period. Due to the general peace and prosperity of this age art flourished in great extent during this period.
During this period many Chaityas, Viharas and temples were built. The artists of Harsha's period seem to be very much influenced by the paintings of Ajanta. The paintings and sculpture of the palace of Prabhakar Vardhan bear obvious influence of the sculpture of Amaravati and paintings of Ajanta.
It is difficult to state the achievements in regard to art, made during Harsha's period. Some scholars are of the view that the Lakshaman temple made of bricks at a place called Sirpur in Rajpur district belongs to Harsha's period. But some scholars are of the view that it was built on 9th century A.D. Another example of the art of Harsha's period is the copper statue of Buddha, which is eight feet high. The monasteries and temples of Nalanda are also the examples of the artistic achievements of this period.
The art of printing, coloring, metal works and ivory works were prevalent during Harsha's reign. In 'Harsha-charit' Bana has referred to sculpture, architecture and other arts at different phases. Kannauj, Valabhi, Ujjain, Varanasi, Kanchi etc. were the main centres where different arts flourish during Harsha reign. These cities were very artistically decorated.
Thus it can be seen that sculpture, architecture, paintings and other art flourish during the reign of Harsha. However, the art of Harsha's period is so much influenced by Gupta art that it cannot be separated from it and has no independent existence of its own.