MAK
41 
cism offen entering fhe bounds of mysficism. ln Rajputana schools 
of painfing flourished in Mewar (Udaipur), Malwar, Marwar 
(Jodhpur), Bikaner, Amber-Jaipur, Bundi, Kotha, and in Bun 
delkhand in fhe Himalayas af Bashohli, Kangra, Kulu, Jammu, efc. 
A similar, buf less emphaticaliy populär art developed in Bengal, 
Orissa (Cat. 464—466), in fhe Panjab, central India, Maharashtra, 
and ofher places. In fhe course of fhe nineteenth Century nearly 
all these styles died out, and in its place, since fhe end of fhe 
Century, a modern Indian arf has begun Io form, firsf imifating 
fhe old styles of archifecture and painfing, then imifating Gupta 
arf (fhe Bengal School) in a way similar to our classicism, finally 
turning fo modern frends. 
Nature and Assessment of Indian Arf 
If One wishes to assess Indian arf with justice one must realise 
fhat like any ofher form of art, Indian ort has not produced a 
very large number of really great masferpieces, buf can öfter a 
large number of fine works, a very large quantify of excellent 
craftsmanship and even more examples of fypical provincial 
Works. It is true fhal Indian wrifings on artisfic theory require 
thal fhe master should only creale affer long meditation and 
from fhe deepest inspiralion. There are such works, buf fhey can 
be counted. In practice it was fhe same as in Europe. Behind fhe 
fine words of fhe manifestos there is offen enough only routine, 
Work hasfily thrown together, plagiarism and callous mass produc- 
tion. 
One must also look at fhe works in fheir confext. Very many 
pictorial works which we study in isolation in museums once 
formed a subordinale part of a large Stupa or femple decorative 
scheme. What we see at a shorf distance by reduced light was 
once conceived to be looked at from a great distance in glaring 
sunshine; what appears to us fo be rough sfonework was once 
covered with fine stucco and painted. 
False Standards must not be applied to Indian art. Being fhe art 
of a fropical counfry, it was in its classic period the conscious 
antithesis of ancient Greek and Roman art. Indian arf will be 
more justly assessed by baroque Standards, whelher one lakes 
Pergamenic sculpture, or Bernini or Rubens. Rubens' exuberantly 
powerfui sensualify comes nearest to the Indian ideal of fhe 
human figure, while the elegance of the "Grand Siede’ corre- 
sponds to the Indian court style. The peak period of fhe Indian 
Middle Ages can best be grasped by references to Gothic arf 
with its calhedrals — which ol course, in contrasi with Indian art, 
Start from the inferior. The mediaeval Ifalians, parficularly fhe 
masters of Siena, form a bridge fo Rajpuf arf. 
On the ofher hand, we must not simply take the religious lifera- 
ture ol India which is known to us as a starting point; it shows 
only one aspect ol lite. The same princes who builf huge temples 
and fesfitied their reverence tor world-denying monks, lived in 
unbounded luxury, maintained great harems and tens of thou- 
sands of dancing-girls, invited great courtisans Io their courts, 
enjoyed theafer performances, and hunted, in the infervals be- 
tween the political intrigues and campaigns which kept ihem 
almost continually busy. The middle-class Citizen, foo, offen 
regarded his pious dufy as done by reserving his candidalure 
tor Salvation to a later lite, meanwhile enjoying the pleasure of 
this World and subsequently those of heaven. This was because 
Indian religion demands no single decision; the transmigraiion of 
Souls permits Salvation to be accomplished in stages; only the 
truly pious chose fhe shorlest road. Ancient Indian art is tilied 
with fhe joy of living. It has Io be seen between the poles of 
acceptance or rejection of lite, the lust tor sensual experience 
and power and their renuncialion. 
It is, however, as dangerous to attempt a detinition of Indian 
art as are all such experimenls designed to squeeze the boundless 
wealth of a World of culture info a single formula. All attempts 
so far have simply rejected decisive phases as "decadent" and 
allowed recognition only to "classic" periods, selecting now art 
of the early period, now the Gupta period, now the art of the 
Middle Ages. The formula of "mystical" Indian arf holds good 
only for the late Gupta period and the Middle Ages, and then 
only for religious art. It must of course be admifted that these 
ideas had begun to form in earlier times, and that Ihey persisted, 
much weakened and wholly re-cast, in the Islamic period as well. 
What can best be said aboul Indian art is that it reveals bound 
less pleasure in and love for nature and a strong but healthy 
sensualify. This explains its musical quality, its dancing rhythm, 
its sensitivily to the expression by fhe body of the finest shades 
of spiritual meaning. It also explains the strong religious feeling, 
the living mythological language. Divinity is experienced in all 
fhings, divine love in all experiences. Renunciafion of the worid 
does not grow from confempt tor the worid as such but from the 
realisation that even all that is most beautifui and glorious is 
but a feeble retlecfion of what is divine; but a retlecfion it is, 
and its experience bridges the way to divinity.
	        

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