Sculpting is a form of art that has had a profound effect throughout the ages. The ancient Greeks were well – known for their fabulous sculptures that reflected the vastitude of their civilization and culture. Sculptures refer not only to the big statues that come to our mind as soon as the word is uttered. The word sculpting encompasses carvings on stone, metal, glass and pots and also the artistry in the numerous religious places that we find around the globe.
Sculpting has been a part of mankind for as long as one can remember. Greek and Roman sculptures are the most prominent and their sculpting era has been widely classified into four periods viz. Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman period. Each of these sculpting periods has its own style and tradition of sculpting. Sculpting has displayed a well-defined progression from one era to another where more and more technical knowledge and skills can be detected.
The Indian form of sculpting originated much earlier around 3300 BC. The first known sculptures were of the Indus Valley civilization. Although the sculptures were of different themes, the majority of them were religious carvings. The carvings were mostly centered on religious stories and themes of Hinduism, Buddhism or Jainism which were the popular religious beliefs of ancient India. Numerous temples, standing even today, showcase the inordinate talent of the Indian sculptors. Several sculptures were also carved on hills and caves.
Although we appreciate such artwork, the scope of sculpting in India has gone down tremendously. Sculptors are no longer recognized and sculpting is waning as an art. Such a scenario is highly lamentable. Steps should be taken in order to resurrect the most quondam form of art known to mankind. Technological innovations can be conflated with ancient artistry to bring out something novel !!