Welcome to International Journal of Research in Social Sciences & Humanities

E-ISSN : 2249 - 4642 | P-ISSN: 2454 - 4671




Dr. Priyam Ankit

Volume: 3 Issue: 3 2013


We say that art carries with it an element of surprise both for the creator as well as the beholder, while craft is premeditated and contrived. The important thing is that an art tradition should be evaluated in terms of criteria of excellence it lays down for itself and not from the vantage point of an outsider. So it is a proper approach to see traditional Indian art (of ancient India) from an insider’s vantage point. A traditional Indian artist is traditional Indian first and artist later; he is an artist not because he has chosen his profession out of all others that were accessible to him but because he was born into it. Indeed there has been so close a connection between traditional Indian arts and religious practices that many art critics and historians of Indian art have equated traditional art with sacred art. If art is considered sacred, then every act of performing it starts with a purification of the environment. This purification is achieved in ancient India by rituals performed before setting out to create a work of art. Are we justified in calling Indian art sacred and spiritual because of these ritualistic practices? This question can be answered by carefully analyzing how a traditional artist looks upon his whole enterprise. If he sees his art activity as a religious activity, then many of the problems that confront an ordinary artist would have no significance for him; but if we follow the pursuits of traditional Indian artists, we realize that, like any other artist in the world, they are preoccupied with the same kind of problems. It does not appear that the problems that engage them were any different from those which occupied the aesthetic thinkers of the West. It is in this sense that these ritualistic acts are to be described as acts of deprofanization; for these acts delineate clearly a break with the mundane space and time, and show the unfolding of an autonomous spatio-temporal situation of the aesthetic object. It is the autonomy of art which matters most for ancient Indian artist. Therefore, the characterization of ancient Indian art as sacred or spiritual is inadequate for its proper understanding and appreciation.

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