Studies & Degrees in Indian Art

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Indian art is a complex form of art that is the subject of many religious, social, and political influences. It has continuously evolved and changed in accordance with a very fascinating civilization that is full of artistic expression and innovation. Because of the importance of Indian art, the government of India has made it a cultural policy to inculcate and to promote the significance of Indian art and to continuously improve the standards of Indian performance and creative arts.

Among the western educated art scholars though, Indian art has often seemed to be a cultural system that is too complicated which has led it to become very misunderstood. It has been a difficulty to understand Indian art as a union of diverse indigenous elements and many different external influences. But this is what separates Indian art from the rest; this is its unique character, the one that gives it its own distinctive appeal.

The study of Indian art takes a student to a fascinating experience which involves curvaceous lines and spirals, tendrils and vines, haloed deities and goddesses, colorful gemstones and amulets, arches and domes, the moon and the sun. It provides a journey that is out of the ordinary, a spontaneous expedition that encompasses and represents the multi-faceted Indian culture.

Indian art encompasses such a wide scope that to better understand it, it is best to study it in smaller categories. These categories of Indian art are usually specific periods in the history of India which reflect particular developments in political, social, and religious contexts. The major periods in Indian art are: (1) the ancient period which includes artwork made between the years of 3500 BCE and 1200 CE; (2) the Islamic ascendency which lasted through the years of 1192-1757; (3) the colonial period which lasted from 1757-1947; and (4) the post-colonial or the independence period which encompasses the years from 1947 up to the present.

Indian art courses usually include subjects on the history of Indian art, Indian temple sculpture and art, bronze sculptures, the Indian fresco, Indian tribal and folk art, Indian visual arts, and contemporary Indian art.

Temple art focuses on Indian art that was predominantly influenced by religion. It touches on the impact of Buddhism on Indian art as well as the inspiration that has been brought about by the other Indian religions. Bronze sculptures meanwhile are covered within the Chola period of Indian history. Chola bronze sculptures are interesting in that these art pieces were made using the lost-wax casting technique. The tribal and folk art element of the Indian art course focuses on the different mediums upon which this art form has been implemented. This includes mediums such as pottery, weaving, metal works, and jewellery.

Career prospects for the Indian art degree holder include jobs in different sectors of industry. There are always opportunities to be found in the fields of education and culture where knowledge of Indian art is an extraordinary attribute. Furthermore, expertise in Indian art is a very distinct advantage in jobs such as Museum curator, Art director, and Art dealer.