Indian art and architecture: The Gupta Period

Buddhist art flourished during this period, which has often been described as a golden age. A famous rock-cut monastery at Ajanta consists of several chaitya halls and numerous residential viharas. Both facades and interiors contain elegant relief sculpture, while interiors are covered with painted murals that feature superb figures drawn with a gracefully sinuous line. As in all periods, there is little difference in the images of the major Indian religions, Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain. Large stone figures, stone and terra-cotta reliefs, and large and small bronzes are made in the refined Gupta style; the level of production is uniformly high. After the 7th cent., although the rulers of the Pala and Sena dynasties (730–1197) were Hindu, significant Buddhist art was created. Images in bronze and in hard black stone from Nalanda and elsewhere reveal a development of the Gupta manner, with extensive attention to ornamental details.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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