One of the purposes of the Indian art is portraying religion and its elements. Being a spiritual community, Indians have many gods and use art to express their beliefs in different ways (Mackenzie 21). The presence of sculptures, drawings, and other pieces of art at home and in other private places is an indication of the religiousness of the person or family where the art exists. As religious emblems, some pieces of art in India serve important functions during prayers and the provision of sacrifices to sacred beings. Thus, art does not only indicate the religious nature of the community, but it also facilitates worship and the practice of spirituality. This explains why some of the pieces of art in India are depictions of gods and goddesses, are treasured, and kept safely in strategic locations like alters and shrines. In India, people respect their gods, and the arts that represent them. The following discourse thematically focuses on Indian art.
Art also serves a culturally significant purpose in India. Through art, Indians can illustrate the far they have come and the direction they are headed as a community. Indeed, it is possible for an outsider to look at the Indian art and to obtain information about its culture and traditions, and how they have evolved over the years (Mackenzie 33). Indians have maintained important cultural artifacts in the form of art throughout history. A look at these pieces of art reveals important cultural practices pertaining to marriage, adulthood, and death. For Indians, culture is an important aspect of their daily existence, and this explains why they have always documented activities through art. Unsurprisingly, one of the most effective ways of handing down traditions and cultural practices is documenting them in a manner that is difficult to destroy. Kept safely, art is difficult or impossible to destroy.
The Indian art also serves as a tool for interpreting the community’s past. The British antiquarians were the first to appreciate the potential of the visual artifact in comprehending India’s history (Mackenzie 61). Often, art is the product of society and often contains elements that are specific to a given period. Part of the reason for this is that art develops over time, and the available technologies and approaches to art vary from time to time. In other words, the works of art derived from a given period tend to be consistent regardless of the person who produced the art, provided it is from the same community. Therefore, by looking at the existing works of art, one can have some understanding of the history of India. Individuals can understand such issues as the evolution of art production techniques and the artistic approaches of the community in various timelines. Grouping similar works of art together can make this comprehension better.
Many pieces of art in India also serve the entertainment and beautification purposes. Thus, the pieces of art produced by Indians do not always have serious religious, cultural, or historical purpose (Mackenzie 83). Some exist purely and primarily for entertainment and beautification purposes. In many communities, this is the main goal of art; entertaining people and to beautifying the environment. Notably, some pieces of art in India serve multiple purposes, beautification of the environment and entertainment of people being some of them. In some homes, the look and feel of the living room may be accentuated by art. Some of the beatification art may have religious connotations while others may not. Paintings and writings are the most commonly used forms of art to entertain people and beautify a place or a home. Indian arts, just like other forms of art, do just that.
- Mackenzie, Lynn. Non-Western art: A brief guide. Prentice Hall, 2000.