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Dance and Music, Gupta, 5th Century A.D. From Deogarh, Delhi, National Museum

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CollectionsArthur Llewellyn Basham
Title: Dance and Music, Gupta, 5th Century A.D. From Deogarh, Delhi, National Museum
Author(s): Photographer: Basham, Arthur Llewellyn
Keywords: Gupta Period
& Sculpture
stone sculpture
mounted transparency set
Series/Report no.: Basham Collection
Description: A precarious balance characterizes art in the Earlier Gupta Period (before 500 A.D.), A duality of styles and harmonies lends naturalism to some forms, such as the Yaksha and Yakshi reliefs or other motifs directly stemming from folk-art traditions, and idealized abstraction to others, as in the case of the spiritually introverted Buddha images, Also resting in the balance is the duality of austerity versus sensuousness, which on the one hand makes religious sculpture profound and on the other, folk-religious sculpture down to earth and matter-of-fact, Into the latter classification falls the relief shown in our illustration where a gay scene of couples enjoying music and dancing is taking place, Similar scenes decorated stupas, shrines and chaitya halls as well as palaces where in each situation the joy of life was heartily invoked, One must remember that Yakshas and Yakshis still retained their roles as guardians in these scenes, for their very presence in a building gave it sanctity and safety, A wonderful play of curves, movement and rhythms characterizes this relief which, compared to the sculptures of the Buddhas, seems worlds apart in spirit, The difference lies in the introverted personality of the Buddhas as opposed to the extroverted nature of the lively Yakshas and Yakshis,
Other Identifiers: ANUA 682-868


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