Indian art spans a period of five millenniums from 3000 BC to the present.
There are some discontinuities, since India's artist craftsmen usually
work in perishable materials. Clay figures that are readily broken or
dissolved by water have been the most common objects of popular worship.
Many are meant for a single brief occasion.
However, they have influenced the works in metal and stone. Wood
is favored for houses, places and temples and for the sacred images of
the altars. All the ancient masterpieces have vanished. The earliest Indian
monuments known are a series of brick ruins unearthed in Indus Valley,
the most extensive sites being at Mohenjo-daro and Harappa. A number of
steatite seals bearing animal symbols and inscriptions have not yet been
to absence of information storage media, no primary reference
is available for perishable art forms before Indus valley
civilization. The ancient era spreads through various dynasties.
The Maurya period ranging from Khaiber to Deccan
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from 322 to 185 B.C. Sculpture includes carvings of Sarnath. In the Sunga
period 185-72 BC, the Buddhist art enjoyed one of its great creative periods
. The stupa or simple burial mounds were constructed in the era, the early
Andhra Period 72-25 BC. The original Stupa of Sanchi founded at the time
of Mauryan emperor.
Ashoka was enormously enlarged by the patronage of the Andhra Dynasty.Chaitya
Halls at Kanheri and Nasik on the west coast were formed in this time
span.The era of art under the Kushan is witness to the Greek Roman influences
on form and Indian iconography. They represent various phases such as
Gandhara, Mathura, Buddhist art in Afghanistan and Turkasthan.
The later Andhra dynasty 25 BC to 320 AD. carvings at Nagarjun Conda
and Amaravati are the examples of art in this period. In Gupta
period Budhhism underwent a process of intellectual absorption into Hinduism.
The last phase of Buddhist art was produced under the patronage of Pala
and Sena period (730-1197 AD). The Buddhist era and their influence came
to an end due to invasion of white Huns in north India and in the south
the rise of Hinduism.