Module 1: Chapter 9: Art of South and South East Asia before 1200 Unit seven: The Post Gupta Period (p.327-332 upto Durga) Post Gupta period time line: 550-950 C.E Although the Gupta period came to an end around 500C.E, its influence in both religion and the arts continued until the mid-tenth century. Rise of Hinduism: Until the 5 th century Buddhism flourished in India. Under the Guptas Hinduism began its ascent and eventually dominated Indian religious life. Yet, Hindus and Buddhist co-existed together in India at this time. In order to understand Hindu art you have to become familiar with Hinduism ? read about Hinduism in the textbox in p.318 of your textbook. Hinduism and Buddhism are not monotheistic religion. They approach the spiritual through many Gods. Read about the evolution of the faith and the belief system; as well as the iconography of the Hindu deities Vishnu, Shiva, Devi and Brahma. Read about the following terms as well from the textbox: ? Puja: form of worship ? Darshan: Sanskrit word for sight or glimpse of god ? Samsara: cycle of life, death and rebirth; used in Hinduism and Buddhism Hindu art: Hindu art including temples and sculptures appeared during the Gupta and the Post- Gupta period. The textbook covers examples of Hindu art from the post- Gupta period. But I want you to look at one famous example of sculpture from the Gupta period not listed in the book. Gupta sculpture: Figure 9-18a Vishnu as the Cosmic Boar: One of the most impressive Hindu shrines of the Gupta period was a rock cut shrine at Udayagiri, near Sanchi in central India. Dating from the 5 th century C.E, and carved out of the rock like the Buddhist temples, the design of the shrine is simple and small, but it boasts of a monumental relief sculpture of one of the avatars of Vishnu - Vishnu as the Cosmic Boar, Varaha. Figure 9-19a Vishnu as the Cosmic Boar, 401-402, 12?by 8? Avatar means incarnation or bodily manifestation of the Supreme Being. This term is used primarily for Vishnu?s ten-incarnation or ?descent? to the earth. The representation here is the third ?avatar? and is based on the Hindu texts, which describes the churning of the cosmic ocean by the gods and the demons for the elixir of immortality. As the eternal sea was churned, various auspicious objects appeared. Among them was the earth goddess. She was immediately drawn into the sea by the serpent king of the sea represented in the extreme lower right. Vishnu instantly assumed his aspect as varaha or the cosmic boar, rescued the goddess. 1 The relief sculpture is monumental, is over 12 feet high and carved out of living rock. The relief is dominated by the colossal figure of Vishnu saving the earth, witnessed by spellbound sages carved in registers in the sidewall; along with his devotee Sesha the serpent, with his multi-headed cobra hood and folded hands as well as other mythical creatures. 2 The composition is relatively static and organized in a single plane along the wall creating a geometric pattern, while the main figure is carved in very high relief. 3 Vishnu as the cosmic boar saving the earth from the ocean was possibly a political allegory of the conquests made by the Gupta kings. The Early Northern temple: The Hindu temple developed many different forms throughout India, but the most significant are the two types: Northern and the Southern. (refer to p.320 for the line drawing and the basic elements of Hindu architecture) Line drawing of a stupa and a North Indian and the South Indian temple 1 P.117 Roy C. Craven, Indian Art A concise History, Thames & Hudson, revised edition, 1997 2 p 46 Partha Mitter, Indian Art, Oxford University Press, 2001 3 p.197 Sherman Lee, A History of Far Eastern Art, fifth edition, Prentice Hall, 1994 Consult the textbook for the detailed description of the Hindu temple along with the different parts of a Hindu temple and the information in the text box Art and its Context - the meanings and rituals in Hindu temples and images. Fig 9-18 Vishnu Temple at Deogarh: One of the earliest northern-style temples is the temple of Vishnu at Deogarh in central India, which dates from around 530 C.E. the tower or shikara has crumbled away, so the original shape cannot be determined, but it gives an idea of how an early Hindu temple was designed. Following are some of the characteristics: ? Massive solid structure built of stones ? Gives the impression of a mountain ? which is also one of the metaphorical meanings of a Hindu temple ? This early temple has only one chamber or shrine, called the garbhagriha. Lot of metaphorical meanings are associated with the garbhagriha ? it corresponds to the center of a sacred diagram called a mandala, on which the entire site is patterned ? Since the deity is placed inside this innermost chamber it is compared to a sacred cavern within the ?cosmic mountain?- a reference to the temple. 9-18 Vishnu Temple at Deogarh, Uttar Pradesh, India, Post Gupta period, c. 530CE Fig 9-19 Doorway of the Vishnu temple at Deogarh: Next, look at the image of the entrance, which is elaborate and like the rest of the temple meaningful. The entrance takes a worshipper from the mundane to the sacred world ? stepping over the threshold was itself considered a purifying act. There was symbolism associated with all the sculptures depicted in the lintels and doorjambs. 9-19 Doorway of the Vishnu temple at Deogarh Some of the sculptures include the river goddess on the extreme upper corners of the lintel. The image in the book is more detailed. Read about the symbolism of the river goddess along with the other decorations such as the vine, the dwarf, the mithuna couple and the decorations on the lintel (below). (Detail fig 9-19)Lintel of the Doorway of the Vishnu temple at Deogarh Figure 9-20 Vishnu Narayana on the Cosmic Waters: relief panel in the Vishnu Temple at Deogarh Three deep-set relief panels with images of Vishnu appear as ?windows? on each side of the temple exterior. These panels, which take the place of an actual window, are not functional; they do not let the light inside the building but symbolically let the light of the deity out of the temple to be seen by those outside. Read about the iconography in the book both in p.329 & 318. Figure 9-20 Vishnu Narayana on the Cosmic Waters, relief panel, Deogarh, c 530 CE The panel on the left is from the south wall and it depicts Vishnu lying on the cosmic waters at the beginning of creation. Vishnu is sleeping on a huge serpent of infinity Ananta, whose body coils endlessly into space and notice also the huge multi-headed cobra hood. The Indian artists always had a penchant for depicting animals along with the gods. Notice here the same keen interest in animals that we saw in the early Indus period. Vishnu is also depicted with the female aspect or Shakti ? the female energy, personified here by the goddess Laksmi, holding his foot as he dreams the universe into existence. I want you to take note of the multiplicity of forms ? the four-headed Brahma emerging from the lotus as the unfolding of the space- time begins. Multiplicity is the key here. Read the quote in the book ? time an space are created by Brahma?s thoughts, ?May I become many.? Also Vishnu is depicted with four arms ? referring to omnipotence. I will let you consult the book for the detailed description of the work. Read about the stylistic characteristics, the attributes of Vishnu ? seen as the four figures in the frieze below and the organization. Other early Hindu temples: Your book lists only one early Northern temple, meanwhile there were other Hindu structures built both in the north and the south. The three examples included below gives you a broader idea of the differing forms that was evolving in the different parts of India at this time, which later culminates into the Northern and the Southern style. 9-20 a Temple No: 17, stone, Sanchi, India, Gupta period, India, 415 C.E Figure 9-20a Temple No: 17 at Sanchi: One of the earliest freestanding temples from the north India, to have survived intact is temple No: 17, dated to abut 415 CE. As you can see from the image above, this is older than the Vishnu temple at Deogarh. The structure is very simple, like an early Greek temple, approached through a porch, which is supported by columns topped by bell and lion capitals. These capitals can be traced back to Mauryan times. There are no influences from early Greek temples in this example, except that it has the same Greek simplicity. Early Hindu temples in South India: The next two examples that we are looking at are from the South India. These structures were built at a location called Aihole, which was ruled by a dynasty called the Chalukya dynasty (543-753 & 975-1189 CE). You might wonder - at this point as to why there were so many dynasties or kingdoms in the different parts of the country. You have to remember that except for short periods of time in its history - India was never a unified country under a single ruler. This was especially true during the Post ? Gupta time frame. We will be looking at two structures, which evolved from the Chaitya and Vihara forms. Try recollecting where and when we looked at these two designs or plans. For those of you who can?t remember ? here?s the answer ? the chaitya hall was used by the Buddhists for worship and it was a long apsed chamber with a nave and side aisles. The Vihara was the monk?s quarters - a square hall with cells on all sides. Figure 9-20b Ladkhan temple: Ladkhan is a square shaped temple and it has a square mandapa (mandapa means a hall in Hindu temples ? refer to p.340 in the textbook). It is raised upon a molded plinth, with an attached porch, and an interior shrine, and a two tiered sloping roof surmounted by a square tower or shikhara. The shikhara or tower seen here is an early manifestation, which later becomes a dominant feature in Hindu temples. The Shikhara rises at the rear of the temple and marks the location of the sacred cell containing the deity. Originally the spaces between the exterior columns of a mandapa were open, but on Ladkhan temple, as you can see in the image below, they have been filled with pierced stone screens which define the structure as walled volume. Fig 9-20b Ladkhan temple, Aihole, Karnataka, India 7 th century C.E Ladkhan temple, section above and plan below Its floor plan, with the square columned interior, porch and the cell standing against the back wall, is immediately reminiscent of the plan of a vihara. 4 4 P.133 Roy C. Craven, Indian Art A concise History, Thames & Hudson, revised edition, 1997 Figure 9-20c The Durga temple at Aihole: This structure, which dates from the end of the seventh century ends in an apse, a plan that suggests its derivation from the Chaitya hall. It is approached by a porch, which extends around the cella or garbhagriba in the form of an ambulatory ? so that a worshipper can circumambulate the shrine as you can see in the plan and the illustration below. The Durga temple at Aihole, plan Figure 9-20c The Durga temple at Aihole, front entrance, late 7 th century CE The base has been elevated considerably, and this is of particular significance because it tends to remove the building from the realm of architecture to that of sculpture. The Hindu temple should be considered a sculpture rather than architecture, because of the emphasis on the mass rather than the volume and the intricacy of carvings that you will start seeing in the later works. The tower in this structure is still rudimentary, but in later structures it dominates the temple. In this example you can see the detailed carvings on the tower including figures and miniature arches. 5 The Durga temple at Aihole, cross section The shikara of the Durga temple Included above are a series of pictures and line drawing of this very important early structure - as it gives the view of the interior and the exterior. 5 p.198 Sherman Lee, A History of Far Eastern Art, fifth edition, Prentice Hall, 1994 Monumental Narrative reliefs: The Rock- cut Hindu temples in Elephanta and Ellora: By far the greatest Hindu narrative sculptures from the post Gupta period were completed in the rock sanctuaries of Elephanta and Ellora in Maharashtra in southwestern India. Map of India with Ellora and Elephanta in the south west Figure 9-21 The Cave-temple of Shiva at Elephanta was dedicated to Shiva. I?ll let you read about the multiple aspects of Shiva discussed in the textbook in p.329-330. Many of the different forms of Shiva appear in the monumental relief panels adorning the Cave-Temple of Shiva carved in the mid-6 th century on the island of Elephanta off the coast of Bombay or Mumbai in western India. On the left is the photograph of the main or the north entrance to the rock cut structure and below is an engraving from the year 1858 of the same entrance. The main entrance has a large carved porch on the north. North or the main entrance to the Elephanta caves " Entrance to the Cave of Elephanta, taken from a sketch by Capt. Elliot; engraved by W.Woolnoth; published in The Indian Empire, London, about 1858. Steel engraved print with recent hand colour. Slightly age browned." 6 Figure 9-21a Plan of the Elephanta caves with keys to the sculptures within 6 The engraving is from the following website www.columbia.edu/.../ elephanta/drawings/ Figure 9-21a Plan of the Elephanta caves: Above is the plan of the cave-temple, which reveals its complexity in layout and composition. As the book points out most temples have one entrance, this temple offers three, one facing north (main entrance), one east and one west (opens into the courtyards). The interior is designed along the two main axes, one running north-south and the other east-west. The temple is carved in the deep recess of the rock, and as the textbook points out the source of light into the interior was limited ? from the three entrances. The shrine has limited light and the resulting cross- and back lighting effects add to the sense of the cave as a place of mysterious, almost confusing complexity. This whole idea of limited lighting was deliberate and based on the belief that the supreme deity is light and that an individual perceives an actual temple to be dark was a reference to maya or illusion (refer to p.328 Meaning & Ritual? ?3 rd paragraph) and our deluded nature. A worshiper is thrown off balance coming in from the outside sun to the dark recess - as a preparation for a meeting with the various forms of Shiva, the most unpredictable of the Hindu gods. Figure 9-21 Cave-Temple of Shiva at Elephanta: Figure 9-22 Cave-Temple of Shiva at Elephanta, Maharashtra, India, post-Gupta period, mid-6 th century CE, view along east-west axis to the lingam shrine The Shiva lingam shrine is right in the middle of the cave complex on the east west axis. Look at the plan above for the location. The textbook talks about the shape of the cave, the columns and capitals and their lack of structural quality, since the cave was carved not built. Read this section carefully in your book both the structural and the iconographical description. Engraving of the interior of Elephanta 1874 7 7 The engraving is from the following website www.columbia.edu/.../ elephanta/drawings/ Today this structure has been restored, but in the 16 th and the 17 th century, the Portuguese military garrison who arrived in India used this hall as a shooting gallery and the majority of the panels suffered extensive damage as seen in the engraving on the left. Figure 9-22 Eternal Shiva: On the North-South axis, opposite to the entrance (look at the plan above if you are not sure of the location) is the most famous relief - the Eternal Shiva located on the south wall. 9-22 Eternal Shiva, rock cut relief in the Cave-Temple of Shiva at Elephanta, Mid 6 th century CE, height approx 11? This whole cave was filled with sculptures of the various aspects of Shiva. We are looking at only one of them. This image shows the huge bust of the deity representing one of his aspects ? the Sadashiva or the Eternal Shiva. The multiplicity of forms is evident once again ? three heads are shown resting upon the broad shoulders of the upper body, but five heads are implied; the fourth at the back and the fifth never depicted on top. Look at the three heads ? each one is associated with different nature of Shiva: Creator at the back ? not visible; the destroyer (right shoulder); the maintainer of the cosmos (front) and releaser (top). Notice how the faces are carved on each side. Yet the whole sculpture has been conceived as a psychological and aesthetic whole. The head in the front (Mahadeva) is one of deep introspection and it presents a mood that is detached and otherworldly. As the book describes the head is massive, the large eyes are barely delineated, and the mouth with its heavy lower lip suggests the god?s serious depths. Lordly and majestic, he easily supports his huge crown, intricately carved with designs and jewels and the matted, piled hair of a yogi. Look at the left shoulder ? the form (Vamadeva) is feminine with pearls and flowers in the crown and the lotus bud in the hand. On his right shoulder is displayed Shiva?s wrathful and destructive aspect (Bhairava) which is illustrated by a cruel expression, hooked nose and moustache and the head dress ornamented with a cobra and death?s head. This example exudes expressive power. Consult the book for the rest of the description and analysis on this piece! Figure 9-22a Ellora Kailasanatha Temple: The textbook deals with the narrative reliefs at Elephanta, but Ellora, which is about 180 miles from the modern Indian city of Bombay or Mumbai is one of the remarkable of all Indian sites for sculpture. The narrative projects here were inspired by the stories of the Hindu god Shiva. Ellora, like Ajanta was a major pilgrimage site. The site consisted of a group of 33 shrines carved into rock between the 6 th through the 8 th centuries and was associated with the Buddhists, Jains and the Hindus. The most spectacular of all was the Kailasanatha temple, a monolithic sculpture in the form of an elaborate temple dedicated to Shiva. This structure was carved in the later half of the 8 th century. This structure was constructed under the Rashtrakutas (725-900CE), under the reign of a king called Krishna I (r.757-783CE). Kailasanatha (Shiva) temple, Ellora, front view, 8 th century CE 8 8 p 55 Partha Mitter, Indian Art, Oxford University Press, 2001 9-22a Kailasanatha (Shiva) temple, Ellora, front view, H 96?, 8 th century CE 9 The style of this structure is southern. But Ellora was the northern most point to which the southern style spread. The temple symbolizes the magic mountain. Once again, you have to remember, what you learnt before ? the metaphoric meaning of a Hindu temple is a mountain (refer to p.327 of your book) As you can see in the black and white picture above and the color image to the side that large amount of stone has been quarried. The complex has a court of 276 feet and 154 feet wide and a central tower reaching a height of 96 feet. It consists of four basic units as seen in the plan below. First is the front screen called gopuram, which screens 9 p.230 Sherman Lee, A History of Far Eastern Art, fifth edition, Prentice Hall, 1994 the sacred precinct from the outside world. The gate is followed by the shrine for the bull Nandi, the mount of Shiva. The Nandi shrine is flanked on either side by two monolithic shafts of stone or towers, 60 foot high, which originally supported the trident symbols of Shiva. Also, on either side were two carved life-size elephants (look at the illustration above to locate the tower and carved elephants). The Nandi temple is raised on a high porch to a second level and is connected by a bridge to the porch of the main shrine of the temple. Plan, Ellora, Kailasanatha temple The last two of the major four architectural units include the columned assembly hall and the main shrine with five subsidiary shrines. The shikara or tower rises over the central shrine containing the lingam. This temple is not built as in architecture. The stone is excavated from the hillside to make this massive work of sculpture. The vertical incision into the hill drops 120 feet. I have included two pictures below ? one a line drawing and the other a photograph which gives an idea as to the depth of the carving, said to be approximately three million cubic feet of stone! Most certainly this structure required sophisticated planning and execution, since the final outcome depended on not what was added as in a traditional architecture, but what was removed. 10 This rock cut temple clearly displays that the Indians had a preference for sculpture during this period. 10 P.138 Roy C. Craven, Indian Art A concise History, Thames & Hudson, revised edition, 1997 Ellora, Kailasanatha temple, reconstruction drawing Ellora photograph of the excavated rock and the steep drop The central temple complex dominates the entire site that the numerous shrines around the courtyard (look at the plan once again) seem to be of secondary importance. The sides of the main shrine are decorated with relief sculptures. Some of them are carved in registers as in the Nandi shrine. The other sculptures like the flying angels (see image below) on the upper walls of the temple, create a sense of movement. Flying apsara or angel on the side walls Figure 9-22b Demon Ravana Shaking Mount Kailasa: One of the interesting narrative panels is Demon Ravana Shaking Mount Kailasa, carved on the stairway leading to the main shrine. The relief is so deeply carved that it is almost in the round. The artists has depicted Mount Kailasa, the Himalayan abode of Shiva in this relief sculpture. The name of this temple - Kailasanatha also means the holy mountain residence of Shiva. It is similar to the Mt. Olympus of the ancient Greeks. The story depicted here is derived from the Hindu epic Ramayana. It shows Shiva and Parvati (consort of Shiva) enthroned in their Himalayan abode of Kailasa. In the relief, the multiheaded Ravana - seen below, interrupts Shiva and Parvati and their attendants. Ravana ? a giant demon king who wished to destroy the power of Shiva was imprisoned under the mountains and begins to shake it with his many arms. The figures seem to glow and move in the shimmering light. The lady in waiting on the right flees back from the composition and creates the illusion of expanding space, where there is only rock. The decisive moment in the Figure 9-22b Demon Ravana Shaking Mount Kailasa story is when Shiva displays his power by using his toe to press the ground and restores peace and calm and order. The subject here as in the Elephanta caves was the demonstration of Shiva?s power. Once again in these panels, the multiplicity of forms not only looks natural but is used by the artist to unify the composition totally. The structures could have been painted initially, over a layer of stucco, which has disappeared today. Just like any other part of India, Ellora, which faces west, has abundant sunshine and these forms stands out brilliantly against the western sunlight with the surrounding mountains casting a shadow. 11 This is it for the Post Gupta period. The next example in the textbook (fig 9-23) will be covered in the next unit under the South Indian narrative sculpture and South Indian temple. 11 P.140 Roy C. Craven, Indian Art A concise History, Thames & Hudson, revised edition, 1997 The Post-Gupta period study guide with examples I) Post Gupta period time line Rise of Hinduism II) Hindu art Figure 9-18a Vishnu as the Cosmic Boar (not in book ? view chapter outline) What aspect or avatar of Vishnu is represented in this sculpture? III) The Early Northern temple Fig 9-18 Vishnu Temple at Deogarh Fig 9-19 Doorway of the Vishnu temple at Deogarh Figure 9-20 Vishnu Narayana on the Cosmic Waters Look at the metaphorical meaning, description, symbolism and style. IV) Other early Hindu temples Figure 9-20a Temple No: 17 (not in book ? view chapter outline) Figure 9-20b Ladkhan temple (not in book ? view chapter outline) Figure 9-20c The Durga temple at Aihole (not in book ? view chapter outline) How did the early Hindu temples evolve? V) Monumental Narrative reliefs Elephanta Figure 9-21 The Cave-temple of Shiva at Elephanta Look at which direction this structure oriented? To which Hindu god are the relief sculptures in the Northern porch and other locations in the temple dedicated? Figure 9-22 Eternal Shiva Describe this famous sculpture and its stylistic qualities Ellora Figure 9-22a Ellora Kailasanatha Temple (not in book ? view chapter outline) Figure 9-22b Demon Ravana Shaking Mount Kailasa (not in book ? view chapter outline) Why is this temple called a monolithic sculpture? To which Hindu god was it dedicated? How many basic units make up the temple? ? Look at the measurement of the temple and how it gives an idea of the drop of the cliff and the depth of the excavation that was needed to create this structure. What does the term ?Kailasanatha? mean? What kind of carving can be seen in the sculpture of Ravana?and describe the relief? Terms: Avatar: manifestations Tribhanga: three-body bend pose Vishnu: Hindu god of preservation Vishnu Varaha: Cosmic Boar Vishnu Anantasayin: Reclining or Sleeping Vishnu Mandapa: Columned Hall Shikara: Tower rising above the sanctuary Garbha-griha: Sanctuary in a temple Shiva: Hindu god of creation and destruction Parvati: Consort of Shiva Nandi ? Bull, the mount of Shiva Amalaka: crowning element in the north Indian temple Mandapas - halls Visit Artstor database through JCCC library to view more images Owner Microsoft Word - POST-GUPTA period unit7.doc
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