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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Indian Art and Craft : Terracotta - 24

Terracotta is another expression of Indian art presented through clay. Pottery and earthenware are distinctly utilitarian and often decorative while porcelain and studio pottery belong to the realm of art.

Terracotta is also used for offerings to the numerous Gods in the Hindu pantheon. Hence, each region has a distinct design, content and body. Bengal has the largest array of the finest specimens of temple terracotta panels. Even in South India numerous offerings of terracotta horses and elephants are made to a deity called Aiyanar who is believed to ride them.

There is usually an intriguing symbolism in the size and form of each. For instance while the horse is big, the rider by comparison is small. the explanation is that, the horse has divine essence, whereas the rider is only a human representation.

West Bengal has perhaps the best tradition of terracotta. Most of these figurines have a ritualistic connotation. the Bankura horse is famous. heavily decorated, it is made of rich red clay. Some of the best terracottas are seen in Murshidabad, Birdhum, Jessore, Hooghly and Digha. The style is essentially folk and designs are highly expressive. The use of colured glazed tiles began after the Muslim conquest. The tile art called Chini or Kashi became highly refined. Today, many ceramic centres produce tiles both glazed and unglazed terracotta with traditional and modern designs.

Related Links:

01. Indian Art and Craft : The Living Age - 1
02. Indian Art and Craft : The painting history of India - 2
03. Indian Art and Craft : India the home of Painting - 3
04. Indian Art and Craft : Ajanta Paintings - 4
05. Indian Art and Craft : Floor Designs and Madhubani Paintings - 5
06. Indian Art and Craft : Art of body painting - 6
07. Indian Art and Craft : Shekhavati - India's Open Air Art Gallery - 7
08. Indian Art and Craft : Contemporary Painting - 8
09. Indian Art and Craft : Crafts Traditions- 9
10. Indian Art and Craft : Metal Work - 10
11. Indian Art and Craft : Metal Work and Engraving - 11
12. Indian Art and Craft : Sculpture - The Essence of Art - 12
13. Indian Art and Craft : Jewellery Styles - Meenakshi and Kunda - 13
14. Indian Art and Craft : Nagaland, Assam, TamilNadu Jewellery - 14
15. Indian Art and Craft : Carpets and Textiles of India (Indian History of Carpets) - 15
16. Indian Art and Craft : Carpets from Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan - 16
17. Indian Art & Craft : Sarees and Fabrics - 17
18. Indian Art & Craft : Sarees and Fabrics from various states - 18
19. Indian Art & Craft : Sarees from other states - 19
20. Indian Art and Craft : Kanjeevarm, Gharchola, Katwa, Sujini and Kantha Sarees - 20
21. Indian Art and Craft : Wood Work - 21
22. Indian Art and Craft : Wood Work form various states of India - 22
23. Indian Art and Craft : Stone Carvings - 23
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