• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Man and Animal Mythologies in Indian Art

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Man and animal mythologies in Indian Art The Hindu pantheon has, in a famous example of hyperbole, over 330 million deities. In a sense India is God-intoxicated, there is god everywhere, in all things: within/without, above/below, in the six degrees of separation and in the three planes of existence. There are gods for vegetation, gods for weather, gods for nature, gods for geographical areas, gods for villages, gods for the house, gods in the temples, gods in running water, gods in deepest forest and in icy mountain heights. There is no situation, environment and place that the Indian does not have a god for. Ganesha (or Ganesh) is the elephant-headed god. Ganesha became the Lord (Isha) of all existing beings (Gana) after winning a contest from his brother Kartikay. When given the task to race around the universe, Ganesha did not start the race like Kartikay did, but simply walked around Shiva and Parvati, both his father and mother as the source of all existence Many stories describe how Ganesha got the elephant head. ...read more.

Middle

Some figures may be seen with six, some with eight, some with ten, some with twelve and some with fourteen hands. The pictures and icons of Ganesha are very beautiful with rich glowing colours. I like the icons as they are very tactile. The physical attributes of Ganesha are themselves rich in symbolism. He is normally shown with one hand in the abhaya pose of protection and refuge and the second holding a sweet (modaka) symbolic of the sweetness of the realized inner self. In the two hands behind him he often holds an ankusha (elephant goad) and a pasha (noose). The noose is to convey that worldly attachments and desires are a noose. The goad is to prod man to the path of righteousness and truth. With this goad Ganesha can both strike and repel obstacles. His pot belly signifies the bounty of nature and also that Ganesha swallows the sorrows of the Universe and protects the world. The 'pot belly' makes the icon or picture appear very happy and 'cuddly.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Ganesha's large head is symbolic of the wisdom of the elephant. His large ears, like the winnow, sift the bad from the good. Although they hear everything, they retain only that which is good; they are attentive to all requests made by the devotees, be they humble or powerful. The 'elephant head' makes the character look out of proportion and therefore I dislike the visual look but find it quite strange. Ganesha's trunk is a symbol of his bias (viveka), a most important quality necessary for spiritual progress. The elephant uses its trunk to push down a massive tree, carry huge logs to the river and for other heavy tasks. The same huge trunk is used to pick up a few blades of grass, to break a small coconut, remove the hard nut and eat the soft kernel inside. The biggest and smallest of tasks are within the range of this trunk which is symbolic of Ganesha's intellect and his powers of discrimination. Indian art in the Hindu shrines shows the deities being depicted in different physical forms. The colours are always vibrant and the detail in the paintings appeal to me as well as understanding the symbolism of the artefacts. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Art & Design section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Art & Design essays

  1. Free essay

    Discuss arguments for and against the view that Conceptual Art should be regarded not ...

    Watching how conceptual art has (or rather, has not) changed in nature over the past forty years informs our judgement of its impact. Hesse has always experimented with conceptual work, and Fried's theory holds true for her - there is certainly something implacably theatrical about this artist's sculpture, the in-jokes, the sexual punning, the scale.

  2. Graffiti art is an art form.

    the conventional location and manner, i.e., framed and placed in a museum or gallery. The location of it on a wall or subway without permission only makes it unsolicited art. As such, it can be called vandalism, but again, this does not disqualify it as art.

  1. Is Graffiti Art?

    Although many police men could in fact be in favour of graffiti the general stereotyping of them suggests otherwise. Some of society feels that graffiti is a form of art that lets one express his or her feelings on a wide range of issues, while others feel that graffiti is

  2. "Elaine's art is an outlet for her repressed memories." How far do you agree ...

    MacMurraugh-Kavanagh claims that 'the paintings are, literally, 'word-pictures': words lead the reader to 'see' the paintings, to imagine what they look like.' Atwood creates these 'word-pictures' very skilfully, describing exactly the subject, colours, and texture used, yet never explains their significance, leaving the reader instead to interpret them in the light of Elaine's experience.

  1. Discuss the extent to which the international art market is a regulator in the ...

    Bruno Frey The term "art market" is refering to the "organisation through which works of art, modern or antique, are distributed by auction-houses, dealers or private buyers"1. The international art market is based upon individual players whose motives are ultimately the maximisation of art.

  2. Are animals symbolic in art? -Research Plan

    In my study I will be looking at different time periods, starting with Egyptian sculptures. I will also be exploring various art periods, eventually ending with modern art and sculptures and trying to decipher whether the meaning and use of animals in art has changed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work