Early Indian narrative art of Bharhut [Photo gallery]
Rooted in human experience, the art of Bharhut is the product of an indigenous culture where the reliefs, patronised by a wide spectrum of society, articulate forthright to the ordinary laity and pilgrims. The overflow of natural forms in the art of the railings and gateways of the stupa of Bharhut creates an ideal balance between the sacred and the mundane.
Bharhut represents the earliest evidence of narrative art which display many story telling techniques. The stone railing, which imitates wooden post-and-rail construction, is decorated with medallions and lunates, most of them filled with the lotus ornament. Although the stūpa does not exist anymore but majority of the remnants of the railings have been preserved in the Indian Museum and elsewhere. Other railing medallions and the coping depict Jātaka stories (legends of the Buddha’s previous births) and events of the Buddha’s life. Since these are labelled, Bharhut sculpture is indispensable for an understanding of Buddhist iconography.
These photographs are embedded in the dissertation called “The Representation of nature in early Indian narrative art of Bharhut c 2nd to 1st century BCE” by Shreyashi Chaudhuri (source)
Gallery: 140 images
Click each photos to see detailled description, exif-information and high-resolution: