Gupta period (320-510)
Under the rule of the Gupta, the refinement of the late Kushan style of sculpture around the middle of the fourth century gave birth to “classical” Indian art. In Mathura and Sarnath the design of the Buddha image was achieved with a perfect expression of inner concentration. Soft modeling and balanced proportions also characterize the Hindu works such as B. the representations of the ascetic Shiva or the manifold manifestations of Vishnu. The wealth of images was v. a. promoted by the development of temple architecture. Cult figures and scene reliefs were increasingly attached to brick temples (Bhitargaon, Ahicchatra) and the first, still relatively small stone temples (Marhia, Bhumara, Nachna). The temple of Deogarh is a highlight of the Gupta architecture and sculpture, which refers to the following formation of the round linear temple tower (Shikhara) typical of the temple style of North India (Nagara style).
South of the Gupta empire, the Buddhist cave structures of Ajanta with important wall paintings have been built in the Dechan since the 5th century.
Post-Classical and Medieval Periods (6th – 13th centuries)
According to philosophynearby, under the medieval dynasties of northern India, the most important of which were the Gurjara-Pratihara and Candella, canonical Hindu iconography and temple architecture in the Nagara style were fully developed in the late 1st millennium. In Khajuraho, the temples, dominated by slender tower-like structures (shikharas) and composed of several vestibules (mandapas) lined up next to the cella, whose high plinths and outer walls are covered with figure-rich reliefs, some of which are erotic in content, were built in Khajuraho.
As in the previous temples of Rajasthan (Osian, Kiradu, Nagda and others), the stepped structure of the floor plans in risalits up to the top of the tower emerged. According to the complex Hindu pantheon, the Pancayatana (»five temple complex«) was preferred. Under the Solankidynasty, Hindu temples such as Modhera and the Jain pilgrimage cities of Gujarat (Abu, Girnar, Satrunjaya), whose numerous marble temples are covered with relief figures and ornaments in great detail, were formed in the 10th to 13th centuries. The design of bodies and faces in medieval Indian art lost its earlier organic vitality and fell into schematism and mannered poses. In Bengal, the 9/10. Century begun,
In the Dechan, in the capitals of the Calukya (Badami, Aihole and Pattadakal) from the 6th to the 8th centuries, groups of stone outdoor temples were built in addition to richly reliefed Hindu rock temples, some of which belong to the northern Nagara style in a developing stage, and some to the southern Dravida style. In the N-Dechan, cave architecture and sculpture found their perfection in Elura and Elephanta.
The Nagara temple style came to Odisha in southeastern India from the Calukya via the Andhra region. Certain influences of the southern style were taken over, as illustrated by the pyramid roofs rising in storeys over the vestibules (Jagamohanas) of the temples in Bhubaneswar that are connected to the cellatures (Deul). The conclusion and climax of the Odisha style is the sun temple in Konarak, designed in the 13th century as a temple chariot (Ratha).
In South India, with the Hindu cave architecture and the Dravida temple style of the Pallava, which can be derived from its cornice form, a continuous style development began in the 7th century (Tiruchirapalli, Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram). – 11. Century was continued with the great temples in Thanjavur, Gangaikondacolapuram and Darasuram. The horizontal structure of the Vimana tower above the square cella, which was preceded by a pillar hall, was characteristic of the Dravida style. The outer walls above the base zone with a relief frieze were structured by figural niches lined with pilaster. The gate structures (Gopura) the multiple expanded, walled temples grew under the Cola and v. a. since the 12th century under the Pandya and the late Dravidian nayak in height and number (Chidambaram, Madurai, Srirangam).
South Indian sculpture has been subject to Pallava since the time of the Pallava, which, in addition to stone sculpture (rock reliefs from Mahabalipuram), brought bronze art to a climax with graceful, lifelike cult figures, and the cola (e.g. Natarajabronzen), which followed its style, increasingly solidified. The temples of the Hoysala dynasty in Halebid, Belur and Somnathpur from the 12th-14th centuries, covered with detailed reliefs, are a special development. Century. The end of the original art development are the palaces and temples of the kings of Vijayanagar who defied the Muslim conquerors from the 14th to 16th centuries. Century.
Indo-Islamic period (12th / 13th to 19th centuries)
Based on the model of Persian book illumination, an Islamic miniature painting and monumental art, which was strongly determined by Indian architects in the early days, were created. The first mosques were made from spoils of Hindu or Jain temples, e.g. B. in Ajmer and Delhi. Native Indian art also came increasingly under the influence of the Islamic tradition brought to India by several dynasties. Among other things, the palaces of the Mughal emperors became models of Hindu palace architecture. The Islamic pointed arch replaced the Indian keel arch. Instead of the Indian corbel domes, Indian temples were covered with “real” domes brought to India by the Islamic conquerors.