Arts of the Indus Valley, Stone Statues & Bronze Casting

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  • Emerged during the second half of the third millennium BCE.
  • The forms of art found from various sites of the civilisation include sculptures, seals, pottery, gold jewellery, terracotta figures, etc.
  • The two major sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation, along the Indus River — the cities of Harappa in the north and Mohenjo-Daro in the south — showcase one of earliest examples of civic planning.
Indus Valley Civilisation
  • Other markers were houses, markets, storage facilities, offices, public baths, etc. , arranged in a grid like pattern.
  • highly developed drainage system.
  • While Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro are situated in Pakistan, the important sites excavated in India are Lothal and Dholavira in Gujarat, Rakhigarhi in Haryana, Ropar in the Punjab, Kalibangan and Balathal in Rajasthan, etc.

Stone Statues

  • Found at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro are excellent examples of handling three dimensional volumes.
Stone Statues
  • In stone are two male figures — one is a torso in red sandstone and the other is a bust of a bearded man in steatite — which are extensively discussed.
  • The figure of the bearded man interpreted as a priest, is draped in a shawl coming under the right arm and covering the left shoulder. This shawl is decorated with trefoil patterns.
  • The eyes are a little elongated, and half-closed as in meditative concentration.

Bronze Casting

  • Made using the ‘lost wax’ technique in which the wax figures were first covered with a coating of clay and allowed to dry.
Image Bronze Casting for Indian Culture
  • Then the wax was heated and the molten wax was drained out through a tiny hole made in the clay cover.
  • The hollow mould thus created was filled with molten metal which took the original shape of the object.
  • Once the metal cooled, the clay cover was completely removed.
  • In bronze we find human as well as animal figures, the best example of the former being the statue of a girl popularly titled ‘Dancing Girl’ .
  • Amongst animal figures in bronze the buffalo with its uplifted head, back and sweeping horns and the goat are of artistic merit.
  • Bronze casting was popular at all the major centres of the Indus Valley Civilisation.
  • The copper dog and bird of Lothal and the bronze figure of a bull from Kalibangan are in no way Inferior to the human figures of copper and bronze from Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.
  • Metal casting appears to be a continuous tradition.
  • The late Harappan and Chalcolithic sites like Daimabad in Maharashtra yielded excellent examples of metal-cast sculptures.

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