Gupta Empire: Art and Culture
“A period of renaissance “ is the name of this golden age of Gupta period , given by few scholars. The Gupta period was famous for vast progress in area of art, science and literature and due to this progress it has been called “a golden age”. The Gupta period covers an important place in the history of Indian art and architecture. The following are the highlights of the art and culture of Gupta Empire.
• Most remarkable was the Bhitari monolithic pillar of Skandagupta.
• Nagara and Dravidian styles of art came during this period.
• There was absence of growth of Gandhara style.
• But Mathura’s one pleasant standing Buddha statue shows a little Greek style.
• The temple at Deogarh near Jhansi, the sculptures in the temple at Garhwas which is near Allahabad were great source of showing effects of the Gupta art.
• The unearthed statue of Buddha at sarnath is a symbol of Gupta art.
• Most of the paintings are seen at Bagh caves near Gwalior which shows the greatness and preciseness of Gupta art.
• The paintings of Ajantha mostly demonstrate the life of the Buddha.
• Kalidasa was a great poet and playwright during Chandragupta II. His master-piece was the Shakuntala. His other plays are Malavikagnimitra ,Vikramorvasiya and Kumarasambhava. His two lyrics are Ritusamhara and Meghaduta.
• During the Gupta period Metallurgy also made a wonderful impact. The craftsmen were expert in their art of casting metal statues and pillars.
• The most antique item in Sultanganj is the huge copper statue of Buddha. This is now kept at Birmingham museum, was of seven and a half feet height and a ton weight. The Delhi Iron pillar of the Gupta period is rust free even today.
• Chandragupta II and his successors also issued gold, silver and copper coins.
• Samudragupta was a great poet. Samudragupta patronized Harisena. Harisena was a one of the scholars.
• Dandin was the author of Kavyadarsa and Dasakumaracharita.
• Vasavadatta was written by Subhandhu.
• Visakadatta was other renowned author of this period. He was the author of two drams:Mudrarakshasa and Devichandraguptam.
• The Panchatantra stories were composed by Vishnusarma during the Gupta period.
• Sudraka was a renowned poet. He wrote his book Mrichchakatika .
• Bharavi’s Kritarjuniya is the story of discriminations between Arjuna and Siva.
• The Buddhist author Amarasimha created Amarakosa.