Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modern painting. Critically evaluate this comment.

Q: Mesolithic rock cut architecture of India not only reflects the cultural life of the times but also a fine aesthetic sense comparable to modern painting. Critically evaluate this comment.

Answer

  • The term Mesolithic art refers to all arts and crafts created between the end of the Palaeolithic Ice Age (10,000 BCE) and the beginning of farming, i.e., Neolithic age.
  • The art of that period mostly catered on what man lived, whereas the classical arts essentially depicted what man saw and the Modern Art depicted what man thought. Since the earliest art form was closest to nature, it has a deep aesthetic sense, which appeal most people compared to the Modern Art.
  • The main feature of Mesolithic rock cut architecture is rock cave paintings which reflected the daily life of that period in a sense, because most of the paintings showed animals, hunting scenes, etc.
  • The Mesolithic sites also had painting of social life, sexual activity, child birth, rearing of children and burial ceremony. This makes it clear that Mesolithic man had developed an aesthetic sense, since most of the painting depicted the nature around the men.
  • While, the early modern paintings were artificial and ornate and lacked aesthetic sense, because they were promoted by British rulers and materialist theme dominated in their paintings and nature was completely ignored as in bazaar paintings and company school.
  • However, in late 19th century many modern painters like Raja Ravi Verma, Amrita Shergill and painters of Bengal School, Nandlal Bose, Abanindranath Tagore also reflected cultural times of the age and had fine aesthetic sense like Mesolithic paintings, since nature was represented with utmost realism in their paintings, example being the famous Bharat Mata painting of Abanindranath Tagore.
  • Even contemporary Indian paintings of M.F. Hussein, reflect a fine aesthetic sense, because they are mostly based on European neo-classical traditions. Whereas, the abstract modern art certainly lack the nature’s proportions and the aesthetics of classical and stone age art and appeal to a selected class of people.

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