History of Art

Art in Religion

Art and Religion

From time immemorial the social environment of man had been indulged and involved in magic and animism that correspond to the revelation of religion. The primitive man was absorbed by the natural phenomena and he made the symbols of the events as to secure the actual occurrence. The desire of animal the death of an enemy etc. had been the motif for the creation of an adequate symbol. With the result the art of the primitive man was magical with methodical arrangements expressive of emotional attitude. This magical reaction was the offshoot of different faith and faith is a distinct means of creating a particular religion that dignifies the cultural and ethical values of a particular society.

In the growth of human civilization art has been a means of interpreting the cultural values. The more the culture extended the greater the sensibility of aesthetic experience developed. The life of man in every civilization was governed by certain religious thinking and art represented those religious thinking in the form of images projecting a concrete tradition. Therefore according to H Read there can be no great art or great period of art without an intimate link between religion and art. Prof Jha signifies art as religion a means of Bhakti itself. According to Griggs the art of Greece is the outcome of religious fervor. Music is the result of singing the hymns of God that subconsciously creates a movement on account of its magical reaction and that movement of one’s rhythmical gesture produces the conception of dance. Sculpture comes out of illustrating the mudras of dance and idea representing that forms in color is the origin of painting. Hence all the fine arts are interrelated and their ultimate value is the detachment of oneself to purify the soul.

Indian temple architecture in the fullness of its development establishes an intellectual and actual approach to supreme principle of which the deity through the concrete work of art and the building is its body and house. Images are given shape by sculpture and painting whose interrelationships expresses in line, proportion and color the love of the absolute to which Gods and myths own their existence.

Analyzing the history we will find the mythologies as a greater factor in establishing a particular school of art. The Byzantine school of painting in Europe has got the same place as of Buddhist school in India. The art of that period was almost religious throughout the world because the inspiration what we receive from the caves of Ajanta is rather the same as of Byzantine Art. The life of that period was incorporated and regulated by religion. Their religious consciousness ultimately was embodied into the realm of arts. But there had been isolating tendencies apart from religious faiths that are found mostly in the western art after the Renaissance where the free independent individualistic in its origin and the artists own personality dominates. Even we look into their lives, the same idea the presence of realizing and admittance of nature what we call the religious sensibility is predominant. The life of Van Gogh is an example in this case.

In India also the Indo-Persian Art gives a reflection of individual approach but the love of beauty of nature is an apparent acknowledgment of absolute. Thus among all the fine arts two things have been important i.e. man and activities of nature. When man and nature are interrelated the idea of Absolute and release come into existence and application of different materials to realize nature is art.

But religion is defined, as the realization of nature and art is one means of its identification. Religion has a stimulated effect and contingent aspect of developing the humanity throughout this materialistic world and art may be understood a language of delivering its significance in life. According to Indian mythology the life is governed by three notions- Dharma- the laws of human righteousness and cosmic order, Artha- the accumulated wealth and Kama- the fountain of love and passion. These fundamentals of human social structure lead us a path of realizing absolute and release. The unity of these laws governs the ultimate aim of to find truth. The religion is thus a structure of discipline for the living, breathing and maintaining the cosmic values. Upon this foundation art and yoga erect many paths leading to the solitary peak where realization of the absolute is imminent.

Evolution of Thought

There are two views of the artists. Some say that art began asa mystical religion and ended as an expression of joy of senses in lovely things. Others hold that art began only as an outlet of the art impulse. More favorable views are with the former because the paintings have been drawn in the dark interior of the caves meant for magical purpose to bring down the animals.

Then the earth swung towards the sun in about 10,000 years BC.Ice moved towards the poles, the plains of shrubs and bushes turned into forests. Animals and men migrated. Some animals became extinct. Men moved towards seaside, great lakes and river basins. MediterrarianSea became very deep. Europe became geographically, climatically and biologically of today and with this we passed out of the pre historic into the beginning of today.

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